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Fagan's focus on Bray

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Christy Fagan, St. Patrick’s Athletic, in action against Derek Foran, Shamrock Rovers at Richmond Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Brian Lawless/Sportsfile.

Christy Fagan, St. Patrick’s Athletic, in action against Derek Foran, Shamrock Rovers at Richmond Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Brian Lawless/Sportsfile.

Christy Fagan, St. Patrick’s Athletic, in action against Derek Foran, Shamrock Rovers at Richmond Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Brian Lawless/Sportsfile.

CHRIS FAGAN has called on his St Patrick's Athletic team-mates not to lose focus on the main objective this season - winning the league title - as they prepare for yet another European adventure.

St Pat's will hope to use tonight's game at home to Bray Wanderers to stretch their lead at the top of the table but once that match is out of the way, minds turn towards Lithuania and Thursday's meeting with Zalgiris in Vilnius, in the first leg of their Europa League first round tie.

Like so many clubs, St Pat's have at times struggled to keep the domestic show on the road due to the demands in Europe so for leading scorer Fagan, it's a matter of focus and concentration.

"It's a huge week for us, with the league game tonight and then the Euro game in Lithuania on Thursday, we can't start thinking about Europe until the Bray game is dealt with," says Fagan, preparing for his third European campaign.

"It has worked well for us in the short-term, as we managed to get next week's game against UCD postponed so we'd have a clean run at the European matches, but you might only get away with that once in a season.

"The worst thing that can happen, if you do progress in Europe, is that you end up with a lot of back matches while other teams are putting points on the board.

"And the title race is getting really interesting now, Dundalk are real contenders now after they beat us in the last game before the mid-season break and Shamrock Rovers have a shout a well with the run they are on, so it's important for us to keep up in the league and not just focus on Europe," added Fagan.

Even though there was a break in the season, there was little time for holidaying for the Saints players. "It was more or less a long weekend off, we were given a couple of days to rest but then we were straight back in for training. We have a really busy period ahead of us, the UEFA matches and some really important league games and we need to make up some lost ground after losing to Dundalk last week." Though the Saints fans will be glad to see the resumption of action after the break, many will approach tonight's game with dread due to the Inchicore club's indifferent record against Bray.

"They have been our bogey team for a while now," says Fagan. "They beat us last season and we were lucky to beat them out in Bray at the start of the season."


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