Wednesday 18 September 2019

Stakes are high for Dublin duel

St Patrick's Athletic Manager Liam Buckley. Photo: Sportsfile
St Patrick's Athletic Manager Liam Buckley. Photo: Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

St Patrick's Athletic risk a season in limbo unless they can play their way into the battle for European places.

This evening, they host a Shamrock Rovers side that also has ground to make up on the leaders.

It makes for an interesting Dublin derby at Inchicore.

Rovers boss Stephen Bradley said recently that it would be "ridiculous" to write the Hoops out of the European equation after a win-less run.

And Monday's emphatic success over Cork City showed they can be a force to be reckoned with.

They have still lost six games, however, and find themselves five points behind fourth-placed Derry City.

St Pat's have also lost six games and are three points further back.

With Cork and Dundalk set to fight it out for the title again and third-placed Waterford - who host Dundalk this evening - a new player in the game, then the race for European places is set to be fierce.

The Dublin powers need to put themselves in the mix.

Saints boss Liam Buckley is miffed by his side's position.

He accepted they were second best in a 5-0 drubbing at the hands of Dundalk on Monday, yet has been frustrated by results against the other contenders.

"We have to try our best to sneak a top-four spot," says Buckley.

"We have played Derry and there's not a big gap between us and them.

"We played Cork twice and, I swear to God, I don't know how they won both matches - again I don't see a big gap between us and them.

"We drew at home to Dundalk and while I know they spanked us up in their place, I know we can match them.

"We played Rovers in Tallaght, they won 1-0 with an own goal but both of us were bang average. There are four spots up for grabs. Someone has to finish in them."

Irish Independent

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