St Patrick’s Athletic host Sligo Rovers in Richmond Park on Friday night as they look to record a second home league win in a row in the space of a week.
The Saints recorded a 2-0 win over Drogheda United last Friday, and will hope to improve on the 1-1 draw away to the Bit O’Red earlier in the season.
In team news, the Saints remain without Darren Dennehy through injury, however manager Liam Buckley otherwise has a full squad to select from including top-scorer Kurtis Byrne who has three goals in each of his last three league games.
Speaking to stpatsfc.com ahead of Friday night’s game in Inchicore, Buckley admitted that while his side were looking to replicate last week’s win, he hoped his team would still improve on their performance.
“Last week was a great win for us. We played very well in the first half and could have been more than 1-0 up at half-time. We started the second half well and saw it out well. We’re improving steadily and know that there is still more to come from the team, especially in front of goal where we can still be that bit sharper and take more of our chances.”
Reflecting on the opposition, Buckley knows that Sligo will pose a significant threat under new manager Gerard Lyttle.
“Sligo are and always will be a good footballing side. They’ve recently changed manager so they’ll be keen to record points so we know that they will pose us problems. Like last weekend however, if we can start the game well we can hopefully take the initiative and look to get a positive result.”
For St Pat’s goalkeeper Conor O’Malley, the Mayo man will be hoping to get one over the Bit O’Red. The Westport man recorded his second clean sheet of the season last weekend and admitted that the hard work that the whole team put in was the primary reason for the shut out.
“Last week was a great result for us. We all worked really hard and it showed in the scoreline with the fact we were well on top for the majority of the game and kept a clean sheet. When everyone is closing down and pressing from the front, it makes it easier for us at the back so our aim is to replicate that every week.”
While admitting that it’s been a tricky start to the season, O’Malley believes the Saints can climb the table and admits that the aim for the players is to add consistency to their performance levels and results.
“We’re unbeaten now in three and last week was a good win. We’re still gelling together as a team so hopefully we can continue that on Friday and over the next few weeks.”