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O'Donnell urges Pat's to embrace cup test

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St Patrick's Athletic manager Stephen O'Donnell. Photo: Sportsfile

St Patrick's Athletic manager Stephen O'Donnell. Photo: Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

St Patrick's Athletic manager Stephen O'Donnell. Photo: Sportsfile

Stephen O'Donnell has challenged his St Pat's side to make sure they are in the mix for an unusual conclusion to the FAI Cup later this year by getting over the first hurdle tonight away to Finn Harps (7.45).

"Win four games and you are in the cup final so that's going to be our aim, and Finn Harps' aim as well," says O'Donnell. "Four games doesn't seem that many to make it to a cup final so it's exciting.

"And we want to be in that band of eight teams in the last three weeks of the season to reel off the quarter-final, semi-final and then final of the FAI Cup; that will be a novelty in itself, in this strange year we are having."

Team news: A full squad is available to St Pat's so more rotation is likely. Ian Bermingham should retain his place after spending two games on the bench. Mark Timlin is out long-term for Harps, and there will be a home debut here for defender Stephen Folan.

Talking point: A cup run is the most likely route to Europe for the Saints, so progress is vital, but Harps will feel aggrieved by decisions that went against them in Friday's league clash of the two sides.

Referee: Neil Doyle

Odds: Harps 13/5, Pat's 20/21, Draw 9/4

Verdict: Away win

Irish Independent