- Thursday March 2nd, 2017 @ 15:30
Team News: Drogheda Utd Vs SAINTS
St Patrick's Athletic make the short trip up the M1 to face Drogheda United on Friday night as the Saints look for a first win of the 2017 SSE Airtricity League season.
Following last week's 2-1 home defeat to Bray Wanderers, Liam Buckley's side will be looking to bounce back, while opponents Drogheda will hope to build on their 1-0 win away to Galway United.
Newly promoted Drogheda last met the Saints in United Park in the league in 2015 when the Saints recorded a 2-0 win over the Boynesiders thanks to goals from Jamie McGrath and Killian Brennan.
Drogheda native Brennan now plies his trade for the Claret and Blues, however Saints' manager Liam Buckley will hope that one of his current side can find the net on Friday night.
"It's great to be back into week to week games now as we all start to get back into the rhythm of things.
After last week's disappointing result and performance, we've been keen all week to play this game as we want to put in a much better performance and hopefully get a result."
Buckley is expecting nothing easy from his opponents who head into the game with the three points thanks to Gareth McCaffrey's late winner against Galway.
"Drogheda are coming off a good win and as a newly promoted side, that is what you look to do early in the year in terms of getting as many points on the board as possible.
You never get an easy game in United Park so we'll need to improve on last week if we're to get a result."
In team news, the Saints are without Aidan Keena and Darren Dennehy through suspension, however they are boosted by the return of defender Rory Feely from a ban. For Saints' skipper Ian Bermingham, the aim this week is simple and to see an improvement on last week.
The defender admitted that the defeat to Bray Wanderers last week was one which hurt the players.
"We were very disappointed with last week's defeat as we had felt all the work in pre-season had gone well and we were ready for the opening game. However when you fail to perform and fail to do the basics right, it is very frustrating," Bermingham told stpatsfc.com.
"The one thing though is this week everyone had worked really hard to put things right and so we're going into the Drogheda game now looking to put in a much better performance. We are capable of much better and the aim is to deliver on that."
The Saints will be coming up against former manager Pete Mahon who enjoyed a good time at the club including winning silverware - the 2011 Leinster Senior Cup - and guiding the Saints through two rounds of the UEFA Europa League in 2011.
Bermingham was a member of the Pat's team under Mahon and received his League of Ireland debut under Mahon at UCD.
The Ballyfermot man praised Mahon for his time at the club and admitted Drogheda are likely to be well prepared for Friday's game.
"I'd have great time for Pete as he was great to work with at both UCD and Pat's when he was here, and he achieved a lot here at the club during his spell as manager.
I'd still keep in touch with him so I know what a great manager he is and Drogheda will be strong this season. Any team managed by Pete will give 100% and if we're anything below that level, we won't get a result.
We need to be at our best, but I think we have learned from last week and can get the three points on Friday if we play the way we know we can."