St Patrick's Athletic travel to Longford on Saturday evening as the Saints' resume SSE Airtricity League duties following their EA Sports Cup success last week (kick-off in City Calling Stadium is 7.30pm).
St Pat's will be hoping to get back to winning ways in the league after a recent run which has seen them suffer four defeats in their last four games. For Longford's part, they will be looking to pick up points as they look to consolidate their Premier Division status.
In team news, Liam Buckley's side are only missing goalkeeper Brendan Clarke who misses out with a broken finger. The Saints' manager otherwise has a full squad available with Christy Fagan and Ian Morris having made their first starts after long injury lay-offs in last Tuesday's Leinster Senior Cup defeat to Dundalk.
"Apart from Brendan [Clarke], we'd everyone train on Friday for the first time in a long, long time so it's nice that we now go into Saturday's game with more or less a full squad available for selection," Buckley told stpatsfc.com.
"Last week was great to come out on the right side of another final and we were happy to get some silverware as it's something for everyone at the club in fans, players and staff to enjoy. But that is in the past now and we're now focused on the job in hand and facing Longford on Saturday."
"Tony Cousins has them playing good football this year and they've recorded a couple of really impressive results this season. We know it'll be a tough game, but we travel there in good form so hopefully we can get the three points."
For Saints' defender Sean Hoare, the trip to the City Calling Stadium is one he is looking forward to as the Inchicore side look to secure all three points having taken just a single point following a 2-2 draw on their previous visit back in April.
"We'd a tough game in Longford the last day and we were probably a little guilty of having a slow start to the game as we were 2-0 down and down to 10 men in the first 20 minutes of the game. That said though, I thought we deserved more from the game as we came to get a point and could've won it," Hoare said when speaking to stpatsfc.com.
"Results like that draw have kind of typified our season to be honest, so we've got to go up there and get a result on Saturday."
With European football still to play for, Hoare admitted that after last week's EA Sports Cup final success against Galway United, the focus for the players was to finish with as many points and possible and see where it would leave them in the final standings.
"Last week was a welcome break from the league looking back at it. We could plan around a cup final, and thankfully we came out of it with a win. It's a good point to come back from now heading into the Longford game. We've still a lot to play for as there's European football up for grabs."
"Shamrock Rovers are a few points ahead of us, and Bohs are a few points behind so we just need to go out and win our games remaining. We've just got to pick up as many points as possible, and concentrate on ourselves. If we do that, we'll hopefully do enough for Europe. That's got to be our target now."
|11||Galway United FC||18||15|
|12||St. Patrick's Athletic||18||15|