Buckley believes St Pat’s will turn a corner

By Stephen Leonard

ST PATRICK’S Athletic manager Liam Buckley feels his side are close to turning their season around and is hoping they can start that reversal this Saturday evening when they welcome Shamrock Rovers to Richmond Park.

The Inchicore outfit has endured a very poor start to their 2017 SSE Airtricity League campaign, chalking up just one point from their opening five outings.

Liam Buckley 23022017

Indeed defeats at the hands of Bray Wanderers, Drogheda United, Finn Harps and defending champions Dundalk have left them rooted to the bottom of the Premier Division table and desperate for a result against the Hoops this weekend.

“We are disappointed with the start we’ve had, but the lads are working hard to turn it around.” Buckley told The Echo.

 “We have performed well in patches. I thought we should have won against Sligo and we were unlucky against Finn Harps.

“But you’d be surprised with how quickly one or two results can turn it all around” he insisted.

The Saints boss admitted that it has taken his side longer to gel than he would have liked, but feels the new players he has brought into his squad are striving to adapt to his system- a system that has seen Pat’s win Premier League and FAI and League Cup honours over the past several seasons.

“Technically they’re a good side, but we’ve brought in half a dozen new players while some of the underage players have been brought up and it’s just taken them longer to settle than I expected.

“Individually they’re doing well, but collectively they’re ok.

“It’s really about putting a stamp on the way you play. Do you want to go long ball, or play it into feet and use the passing game?

“We have done well with the passing game and I’d like to maintain that. Really it’s about the players being aware of how we want to play” he explained.

Three points this Saturday will be just the tonic his side is craving, but they won’t come easy as they play host to a Shamrock Rovers side eager to establish some consistency after a roller-coaster start to their title bid.

The Hoops will be coming into this match on the back of a narrow 2-1 defeat at the hands of current Premier League leaders Cork City.

And while they may not be in the precarious position in which Pat’s currently find themselves, Stephen Bradley’s side will be intent on establishing their title credentials after narrow defeats against, what many see as, the top three, Dundalk, Derry City and Cork.

“I think this is going to be a difficult match for both sides” predicted Buckley.

“But right now we’ve got one point from five games and we just want to get back to winning” he said.

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