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O'Brien: Bond between Pats and fans will see us through

AS St Patrick's Athletic prepare to camp down in Inchicore for a run of four straight home games, Saints defender Ger O'Brien has praised the club's supporters for sticking with Liam Buckley's side despite some tough times this season.

The Pats players have brought some good news to the fans in the last week with successive wins and clean sheets in their last two games, but before that came a bitterly disappointing defeat at home to Dundalk and a 3-0 hammering by Shamrock Rovers.



"We have had some ups and downs this season but to credit the Pats fans, they've been behind us all the way," O'Brien told the Herald as Pats prepare to host joint-bottom side Shelbourne tonight.

"I think we're one of the few clubs in the league who have that, a really good bond between the fans and the team, and even when we let them down a bit this season, like losing at home to Dundalk, we didn't hear too many boos or chants.

"They stood by us and hopefully we rewarded them with the wins over Bray and UCD in the last couple of games.

"The Pats supporters appreciate that we're working hard and trying to bring success to the club. Once they see the players are giving that effort and commitment on the field, then they will appreciate that whether we win or lose."

Pats fans and players will be seeing a lot of each other over the next couple of weeks, with the hard-working team who slog away behind the scenes, like the groundstaff and the match programme team, also busy, as Pats are at home four times in a row over the next 14 days. They have games against in-form Sligo Rovers and Derry City in between two Dublin derbies against Shels and Bohemians.

"It's going to be a good test of our home record alright," says O'Brien.

"A run of home games like that can work for or against you. I've been at clubs where we love playing at home and I was also with teams where there was so much pressure at home that you preferred the away games.

"I think that was the case at Shamrock Rovers last season. Speaking to some of their players, they preferred away games as the atmosphere at the home games was so intense.



"It's a big month for us, and playing Sligo and Derry back to back is a big test, but we'll only worry about them once tonight is over, for now our sole focus is on Shels."

Alan Mathews and his Shels squad come to Inchicore with morale low after a run of four straight defeats. And with some very tricky games ahead for Shels (Cork City and Limerick away), the Reds need to get points on board before they're cut further adrift at the bottom.

"Shels are on a bad run but we're very wary of them," says O'Brien.

"I know a lot of the players in the Shels squad, they will be hurting at the run they're on right now and they'd love to come to our place and get at least a point."

Shels are still without captain Glenn Cronin and Rob Cornwall is suspended, while Shane McFaul is the only absentee for Pats.