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‘We’ve had to be patient with him’ – Tim Clancy hails Tunde Owolabi after derby hat-trick for Saints

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Tunde Owolabi of St Patrick's Athletic shoots to score his side's second goal during the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division win over Bohemians at Richmond Park, Inchicore, Dublin. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Tunde Owolabi of St Patrick's Athletic shoots to score his side's second goal during the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division win over Bohemians at Richmond Park, Inchicore, Dublin. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Tunde Owolabi of St Patrick's Athletic shoots to score his side's second goal during the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division win over Bohemians at Richmond Park, Inchicore, Dublin. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Tim Clancy is glad that patience paid off for striker Tunde Owolabi after he ended his own goal drought, and a frustrating spell, to score a hat-trick in a Dublin derby.

The former Finn Harps man had not scored since the second week of the season and was starved of first team starts, but with a place in the starting XI for Monday's league game at home to Bohemians, Owolabi responded with two goals in the first half and a second-half penalty.

"We've had to be patient with him and we've had plenty of chats with him. He's a brilliant kid and the games he has started for us this season, teams have sat off and there was a limited amount of space behind which suits his attributes," says manager Clancy.

"On Monday night, we thought we could get success down the side of them, that's where Tunde thrives. He gets two great chances and takes two brilliant goals and then he's in the build up for the penalty.

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"Sam Curtis does brilliant and Doyler (Eoin Doyle) wins it it and gives it to him for the hat-trick.

"Last season he had a similar start at Finn Harps and didn't play until the second half of the season. You have to be patient and try to bide your time.

"He trains very hard every day and is a brilliant kid and things can change very quickly. On Monday he scores a hat-trick," added Clancy.

Owolabi was making only his third start for the Saints but was pleased to deliver.

“It’s crazy, it feels like a dream if I’m being honest," he said today.

“I had to be patient - I would have loved to have played more and sometimes it was frustrating if I’m being honest but, listen, you’ve got to be patient, be professional and get your head down.

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"You’ve got to work and I’m just thankful and grateful to God that when I did get the opportunity, I delivered.

“I want to say a massive thank you to Tim for trusting me, for the rest of the coaching staff for believing in me and my teammates as well who have been there through the journey and who have helped me, gave me advice.

“It was a great win, especially because of the manner in which we lost against Shels on Friday. We knew we had to bounce back. The result and the performance wasn’t good enough.”


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