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Greene is eager to get back in the groove with Pats move

AARON GREENE, St Patrick's Athletic's new signing, is in no mood for joking when it comes to a title push from the league champions this season.

The former Ireland U21 cap is poised to make his debut for the Saints in tonight's vital game away to Cork City, Liam Buckley's side well aware that they can move into second place ahead of Cork with a win to keep up the pressure on leaders Dundalk.

Despite his age (24), Greene is a League of Ireland veteran as this is his sixth season in senior football, but there has been frustration as well as elation for the Tallaght man in terms of league titles.

"Someone was slagging me off the other day, saying that every year I seem to join a different team who are favourites to win the league but they never win it," says Greene, who could come straight into the Pats starting XI in Cork as Christopher Forrester, who has started the last 16 successive league games, is suspended.

"I have moved clubs a lot so far in my career, more than I would have liked. But I am very serious this move to Pats, I didn't expect to be here now as I thought I would be at Sligo Rovers for a couple more years and that didn't happen.

"I want to win more and I feel we have the ability here at Pats to go on and win the league again. I know the squad well even though I've only been at the club for a few days, I played with a lot of the players before so I know their quality.

"And we have it within us to make a real push for the league this season. We're up against it as Dundalk have that nine-point lead over us. But we won't worry about Dundalk, we will concentrate on ourselves, try to get a few wins on board and see how we are shaping up when we get to play Dundalk in a few weeks," added the Tallaght native.

Greene has put in the miles since he made his League of Ireland debut with Galway United, back in August 2009. In spells with Bohemians (2010), Sligo (2011), Shamrock Rovers (2012) and Sligo (2013-14) he missed out on title wins.

A move to hometown club Shamrock Rovers didn't work out as injury stopped his progress and while he was enjoying his football in Sligo over the last 18 months, with his young family also settled in the west, he recently learned that he was not part of the club's future plans so the Bit O' Red cut him loose and allowed him move to Pats, with Daryl Kavanagh moving in the other direction.

Sligo are now heading into a period of uncertainty: out of the FAI Cup and way off the pace in the league, they have no chance of making Europe for next season, but for Greene and Pats, they have big aims for the rest of 2014.

Winning the FAI Cup for the first time since, sigh, 1961, is a key objective, but retaining the league title is also on the menu. And Greene knows that tonight's battle in Cork will have a big beating on the race, as a draw in Cork would suit leaders Dundalk and also suit a revived Shamrock Rovers side under Pat Fenlon who could come back into the race.

"Cork area good side and have a great home record, not many teams win in Turner's Cross and I think they were unbeaten there for a year before Dundalk won there last week," he says.

"If we can get a win down here we have the potential to do really well and I would love to win a league with Pats. Now is when you show your quality, the league gets very tight with 10-11 games to go, we're heading into that phase now and it's up to us at Pats to show that we are good enough to win the league again," he added.