Top of the table Pat's will be looking to claim all three points as they continue to push on in an effort to claim the title come the end of the season. Having been defeated 2-1 by Dundalk in their last game before the break, it will be interesting to see how the Saints bounce back to this with the pressure surely being higher than normal due to this defeat. Previous to this defeat, Pat's had not lost since April, once again at the hands of The Lillywhites.
Saints manager Liam Buckley has stated his side have welcomed the break with open arms, continuing to say it was a good opportunity to give his players a rest and that they will not be taking the opposition lightly.
"The break was good to give some of our lads time off and the squad is all back in training now and look rested and ready to go again. We’ll need to be at it on Friday as Bray will be tough opponents." Said Buckley as he spoke to stpatsfc.com.
“We’d a tight game in their place earlier in the season and since then they’ve been going well lately. Jason Byrne has been banging the goals in and they had good wins recently against UCD, Drogheda and Cork. We know they’ll test us and pose us problems, so we just have to apply ourselves as best we can and hopefully we’ll get a result.”
Jake Kelly, who moved to the Inchicore side from the Seagulls further enforced how his side will not be underestimating their opponents on Friday night.
“Bray came to Richmond last year and beat us 1-0 and also got a 3-3 draw against us in Bray so we don’t need any reminding of what they’re capable of. They can get goals from nothing as lads like Jason Byrne and Kieran Marty Waters are so dangerous. But we’re still confident in ourselves and we’ll be looking to win on Friday.” Kelly said as he spoke to stpatsfc.com.
The home side go into the game without Killian Brennan, who is beginning a two match suspension following his sending off in the Dundalk game.
Bray will also be looking to continue their good form as they come into Friday's clash. The Seagulls have been performing above all expectations of late having won four of their last six games.
The visitors also have the pleasure of having a full squad of players to choose from for the first time in seemingly forever. Danny and Kevin O'Connor are both available for selection following a prolonged absence before the break. Shane O'Neil and Eoin Hyland are also back in contention for a place in the squad having missed a few games prior to the summer break.
Bray's Director of Football Pat Devlin stated his happiness with how his side have recently lifted their levels of performance following an underwhelming start to the campaign.
"I am happy with our performances especially in the final weeks before the break." Commented Devlin while speaking to braywanderers.ie.
"We now need to move forward from here, we have a tough programme ahead of us and we hope to get more points on the board from the first phase. We need to push forward and we hope to strengthen the squad in the window. We are looking forward to the remainder of the season."
Bray will no doubt need to be at the top of their game in order to stand a chance on Friday. Two of the leagues form teams coming together does, however, mean the crowd at Richmond Park should be in for a treat.
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