KILLIAN Brennan fears that St Patrick's Athletic will have to win all nine of their remaining league matches if they are to stand a chance of retaining their league title this season.
Liam Buckley's outfit kept up their superb home record with a 3-2 win over UCD on Friday night, their ninth straight home league win.
But that defeat of UCD made no difference to the title race as the top two of Dundalk and Cork City also won their matches
So Pats remain 10 points behind leaders Dundalk and for veteran midfielder Brennan, only a long winning streak will keep them in the hunt.
"If we keep plugging away and keep winning we have a chance," says Brennan as Pats prepare for their latest test, at home to Limerick tonight.
"But realistically we need to win all of our games and hope that Dundalk and Cork slip up somewhere along the way to let us build up a bit of momentum behind them.
"We have nine games left and it may take a massive effort from us, maybe nine wins, to still have a chance of winning the league.
"That's a big ask, to win nine in-a-row. If we lose and Cork win it would be pretty much over, it would leave it as a two-horse race between Cork and Dundalk.
"If fairness to Cork and Dundalk, they both had tough games on Friday and they both won. They are both in flying form and it doesn't look like they are going to slip up. Tonight will tell a lot.
"Dundalk have a tough game away to Sligo. If they win up there it will be very hard for anyone to catch them."