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Dublin: 10 °C Tuesday 22 October, 2019

'He has been through a lot in his personal life and we are going to wait for him'

St Pat’s boss Harry Kenny says patience is required with midfielder Chris Forrester.

Chris Forrester is in his second stint at St Pat's.
Chris Forrester is in his second stint at St Pat's.
Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC boss Harry Kenny says the club must show patience towards midfielder Chris Forrester.

The 26-year-old Dubliner is in his second spell at Pat’s, having spent four years playing in Britain with Peterborough and Aberdeen, before re-signing with the League of Ireland outfit at the beginning of the 2019 campaign.

Forrester has yet to hit top form since his return, and was only introduced off the bench after a concussion forced off Rhys McCabe in Monday’s 1-0 defeat by Shamrock Rovers.

“It has taken Chris a while,” Kenny admitted. “He has been through a lot in his personal life and we are going to wait for him, because he is a good player. The only reason he didn’t start tonight was with the Friday-Monday.

“The last time we played Friday-Monday, we were up in Finn Harps, and he was jaded very quickly on the Monday. Darragh [Markey] had fresh legs. We had four changes, I think, from Friday’s match. It was a matter of freshening up as much as possible without upsetting the shape of the team.”

Meanwhile, despite being disappointed with the outcome, Kenny felt his team acquitted themselves admirably amid a difficult fixture at Tallaght Stadium.

“I thought we played quite well tonight. I was pretty pleased with our performance overall. I thought we’d good passages of play, created a number of chances, didn’t take them. [Brendan] Clarke had one or two saves to make, they had a few corners, which we dealt with fairly okay.

[Rovers have] a lot of good players. If you let them play, they’ll bloody well kill you. But we got in their faces well and we didn’t let them play out from the back, which is the way they want to [play]. So that worked reasonably well for us.

“You either drop off and let them have it in their half. They have good players and they’ll keep the ball and have you running all over the place. But we got after them a little bit and we won it in some good areas and broke well. But it just wasn’t to be.”

One player who stood out was 20-year-old defender Ciaran Kelly, a Pat’s youth product, who re-joined the club last November following a year-long stint with Drogheda.

“He is after settling into the team great,” Kenny said. “He has come into the centre of defence, he’s a young lad, he’s quick over the ground, he’s good in the air and he made some great interceptions. He can read the game well. So I’m very pleased with the way he has gone since he came into the team.

“I saw him a couple of times for Drogheda. He is dangerous as well from set-pieces. I don’t know how many he scored for Drogheda, but he scored a few. And he got his first one for us last week, so he is definitely dangerous in and around the box as well. I have high hopes for him alright. He’s a big fella, he has a good career ahead of himself.”

The Saints’ next fixture is on Friday at home to Waterford — the team whose place in the Europa League they controversially took recently.

Kenny, however, played down suggestions there might be particular ill-feeling between the sides on account of recent events.

To be quite honest with you, I don’t give too many thoughts about the whole thing. I’m just trying to win matches here. When it was announced, I was thrilled, as I always wanted to manage a team going into Europe. I had a little spell with Bucko [former Pat's boss Liam Buckley] in 2013 when we won the league, so I’d like to get back there and see what European football is all about.

“As a manager, it’s great, playing against whatever European opposition you get. The whole thing of planning, going away, trying to get information about the opposition, I’ll look forward to it. 

“We weren’t in Europe and now we are and we’re delighted about it. There’s certainly no needle from us and I don’t think there will be from [Waterford] either. The players will focus on winning the football match and that’s what counts.”

Gavan Casey and Murray Kinsella are joined by Andy Dunne to get stuck into last weekend’s Champions Cup semi-finals.:

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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Paul Fennessy

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