Buckley says Pat’s can rock rivals

Liam Buckley believes his St Patrick’s Athletic side will cause ructions tonight on the volcanic island of Vestmannaeyjar by dumping IBV out of the Europa League (Hasteinsvollur, 8.30pm, Irish).

Confidence is high in the Saints camp as they hold a 1-0 advantage – thanks to Chris Fagan’s strike last week – going into the second leg of their first qualifying round clash with their Icelandic hosts.

Having knocked the same team out of Europe last year, Buckley’s men are aiming to repeat the trick after landing on the island off Iceland’s south coast via a stopover in Kelflavik.

Midfielder Mark Rossiter (knee) and striker Dean Kelly (groin) did not travel, but IBV have several injury worries of their own.

Buckley feels his players have the quality needed to progress into the next round of qualifying, where Siroki Brijeg from Bosnia & Herzegovina await the winners.

He explained: “If we apply ourselves, we should be able to get through the tie. I expect it to be a tight game and for them to set up differently than in the first leg. They have to come out and try to score, which should make it a very open game. But we are very good defensively and we always create plenty of chances.

If we do manage to score over there, then that puts them under a lot of pressure. I think we are capable of getting a result and getting through the tie.”

Form is definitely on the Saints’ side as Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Shamrock Rovers kept them second in the Premier Division, while they are through to the last 16 of the FAI Ford Cup.

But, European progression is something that Buckley has set his sights on and he believes that his slick, counter-attacking team can do enough tonight.

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC (Probable): B Clarke; G O’Brien, C Kenna, K Browne, I Bermingham; J Russell, J Chambers, G Bolger; D Meenan, C Fagan, S O’Connor.

More in this section


Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox