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'This is our big chance'

WITH famine comes hunger, and no major Irish club is more hungry for a major trophy than St Patrick's Athletic are in their quest for the FAI Cup.

And Saints defender Ger O'Brien is adamant that Liam Buckley's side have the desire needed to end that 51-year gap since the FAI Cup last ended up in Inchicore.

"Sometimes when you're in a dressing room you know that the team have something about them to go on and win something, and we have that in our camp," says O'Brien, now lining out for Pat's after spells with their Dublin rivals Shamrock Rovers and Bohemians.

"I don't think we believed enough in the league campaign and we fell short at the end, but we are still a very difficult side to beat and nobody has played us off the park this year.

"Over the last few weeks we knew that the FAI Cup was our last real chance of winning something this season and now we're very close, there is a definite hunger in that dressing room of ours and we will take that into Sunday," added O'Brien.

He's only been at the club for a year but the Dubliner also knows his history. "The club hasn't won the Cup in a long time.

"They have been in six finals since they last won it and they lost the six, that's six failures and it's hard to take for the supporters. Six times in 50-odd years, these opportunities don't come around that often," added the defender.

"We have a chance on Sunday and we have to take it with both hands, it certainly won't be for the lack of trying.

"This group is as ready as it's going to be. We know that we can make a lot of people at this club happy by winning this match on Sunday.

"If you're a Pat's fan over the age of 50, you've never seen the team win the FAI Cup and that's not right, so this group of players can put it right at last. We know we can make a bit of history for this club and we just have to go out and do it.


"But having played for Derry I know what football means to the City and those players are desperate to bring that trophy back north," adds O'Brien, who still has a soft spot for Derry since his time under Stephen Kenny, in the 2008 season.

"A lot of the Derry City players I played with are still there, lads like Ger Doherty and Barry Molloy and Mark Farren were in the team in my time at Derry, Patrick McEleney was just coming through and I'm good friends with a lot of their players.

"Those guys have a lot of big-game experience, they have played in a lot of big matches - Cup finals, European games - and they have won things so they have a lot on their side.

"They are winners and it won't be an easy game for us on Sunday.

"I have been impressed with a lot of their players, Barry McNamee and Stephen McLaughlin have been excellent for them and we'll have our hands full no matter what side they put out.

"They'll probably have McLaughlin on one wing and Patrick McEleney on the other side, and with people like Mark Farren and David McDaid there to play up front they are a real threat, when they are on form Derry are as good as anyone in the league. But if our big players turn up on the day we can more than match them," O'Brien added.