IAN BERMINGHAM admits that he's been the target of some jokes from his St Patrick's Athletic team-mates after he finally ended a run of four years without a single goal on his CV.
The former U21 cap was an unexpected goal hero for the league champions in their 2-2 draw away to Sligo Rovers on Saturday night as his first-half strike was the first time Bermingham was entitled to a goal bonus, if he had such a thing on his contract, since he managed a strike against former club Shamrock Rovers way back in March 2010.
It would be trite to say that Bermingham has more goals on his mind as his side face up to Bohemians in the EA Sports Cup at Dalymount Park tonight, but the defender does admit that he isn't keen to wait another four years to see his name on the scoresheet.
"It was long overdue and I don't think I could deal with waiting four years for my next goal, I should have a few more," Bermingham says.
"It's not as if I don't get chances or don't get forward, I get two or three opportunities to have a shot in almost every game, maybe I was guilty of putting in a cross when I had a chance to shoot.
"It's something that is missing from my game and I want to try and put it right, maybe not in the next game here against Bohs but I would like to score once or twice before the end of the season, four and a bit years is too long," he admits.
As a defender his job is to stop goals, not score them, and some of his fellow full-backs had an even worse record in front of goal. Gary Kelly scored a paltry two goals in almost 450 league appearances for Leeds United while Kenny Cunningham scored just once in his entire senior career of over 600 games.
Bermingham is a player with attacking ability, and he was moved from his customary left back position to a more forward role in the Saints' last major cup game, the 5-1 defeat to Sligo Rovers in the Setanta Sports Cup, and he could fill in as a swashbuckling winger again tonight away to Bohs if, as expected, boss Liam Buckley decides to make changes.
One of only three ever-presents in the league for Pats this season, Bermingham may be offered a rest tonight by Buckley with a view to Friday's crucial league game at home to Cork City but the former UCD and Shamrock Rovers man is keen to play.
"The league is the priority for us this season and we have a lot of competitions to play in, I think we will have matches in seven competitions overall which is a big burden," he says. "The EA Sports Cup is a break from the league but it's still a big competition for us, we want to win as many trophies as we can this season, we have missed out in the Setanta Cup so we'd like to go all the way in the EA Sports Cup," he adds.
While the retention of their league title and the Champions League campaign are priorities for Pats, Bohs know that the EA Sports Cup and FAI Cup are their only chances of silverware this season, but Bohs boss Owen Heary will also make changes to his squad tonight with one eye on Friday's league game against UCD.
"We want to win every game and every cup," Heary says.
"But of course you have to look ahead too when you're selecting your team for a game in this competition. We've already lost Dinny Corcoran (left) through suspension for the UCD game, so we can't afford any more silly bans or risk players carrying a knock."
Bohs recall Craig Walsh and Dan Byrne from suspension while former Saint Anto Murphy could feature for the first time this season.