Sunday 22 April 2018

Derby D-Day for Kenny's Hoops

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

TOMORROW marks D-Day for Stephen Kenny, who came out fighting this week and will hope that his players have taken heed.

Last Friday night's 4-0 defeat to Bohemians has left his Shamrock Rovers side scarred and the only way to heal is with a derby victory over St Patrick's Athletic.

The rivalry may not be as hot as the one with the Gypsies for fans, but given the Saints are ahead in the table and title contenders, there is no doubt as to the importance of the Tallaght clash.

The champions could start this game trailing Sligo Rovers by 11 points if the Bit O'Red can win this afternoon's televised game against Bray Wanderers. A Pat's win would put seven points between the south Dublin rivals.

With pundits and fans alike ramping up the pressure, Kenny has promised changes and Daryl Kavanagh could come into contention after an impressive display in Monday's Leinster Senior Cup win over Shelbourne.

The Saints will be drained after their European exploits against Iceland's IBV and goalscorer Christy Fagan is almost certain to miss out. New signing Anto Flood is expected to start in his place.

A repeat of their magnificent 5-1 win looks unlikely and they could be held to a seventh draw in 15 games, which wouldn't be the worst result for the Saints. Anything less than a win will be a disappointment for the hosts.

Irish Independent

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