Buckley: We must kick on now

Aidan Fitzmaurice

LIAM BUCKLEY has told his St Patrick's Athletic side that he wants to see performances such as last week's five-star showing against Shamrock Rovers on a weekly basis.

Saints fans enjoyed one of their best nights of football since their last league title way back in 1999, when they demolished champions Rovers with a 5-1 win last Friday night.

The five-goal haul, the impressive defensive display and the thrilling attacking football played by men such as Christopher Forrester and Chris Fagan has Pats supporters getting giddy again with talk of a real title push this season.

Yet boss Buckley (above) says that a mere glance at the league table will show that tonight's game away to Drogheda United is no formality, as United, the real surprise package of the new season, are ahead of Pats in the table.

So the message from Buckley to his players is that the good win over Rovers cannot be a one-off.

"We're looking for a consistency in terms of performances from the group, and if we get that, I'll be very pleased," said the Pats boss.

"I know there's goals in the team and a lot of quality but we have to knuckle down in every game, and we've learned that the hard way already having had a few draws lately. We have to apply ourselves right because if we don't teams will punish us," added Buckley.


Drogheda have looked very tidy this season and they served notice of their intentions of a trophy win this season by beating Bohemians in the EA Sports Cup in midweek. Some of the United squad have an insight into Pats as Stephen Quigley and Declan O'Brien both had spells at Richmond Park.

"Any side that can go to Cork and win, and then turn over Derry at home have to be respected," added Buckley.

"Mick Cooke has signed quite a few decent players, including one or two from Monaghan. They've started the season particularly well but, more importantly, they're above us, so we'll have to apply ourselves right, which hopefully we'll do."

The 5-1 loss -- Rovers' first league defeat in almost a year -- was a shock to the Tallaght side's system, so manager Stephen Kenny has called for an immediate reaction tonight against a Dundalk side who were boosted by a midweek League Cup win away to First Division high-flyers Longford Town.

"Everyone was disappointed, to say the least, with the defeat last Friday," said Kenny.

"And I think how we respond to it is very important. It's always important to respond to a defeat like that in a positive way, to roll our sleeves up and make sure that we're willing to fight hard for each other on the night.

"We'll need to work extremely hard to get the desired result against Dundalk and get that game against St Pat's out of our system. I'll be expecting the team to respond in the right way tonight."