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'When he does that, in my opinion he's the best player in the league'

Chris Forrester helped St Patrick’s Athletic to keep their European hopes alive with last night’s win in Derry.

chris-forrester-after-the-game Chris Forrester of St Patrick's Athletic. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC MANAGER Stephen O’Donnell heaped praise on Chris Forrester after his side defeated Derry City to ensure they’ll have something to play for when the 2019 SSE Airtricity League Premier Division season concludes on Friday.

Forrester scored the equalising goal as the Saints came from behind to win 3-1 away to Derry City last night. As a result, O’Donnell’s men are still in with a chance of securing a Europa League place at the expense of the Candystripes.

A superb performance in midfield from Forrester was pivotal for Pat’s, who ended a run of four league games without a win following a brace from substitute James Doona.

Forrester returned to the Inchicore outfit ahead of the 2019 season after Aberdeen agreed to release him just six months into a three-year contract due to personal reasons.

The talented playmaker had initially moved to the UK in August 2015, when he was signed from Pat’s by Peterborough United, where he was later appointed captain.

His form for the English League One club also earned him a call-up to a provisional Republic of Ireland squad, before he eventually fell out of favour at London Road.

Forrester has struggled to establish consistency in his performances during his second spell at Richmond Park. However, having also impressed during last Friday’s goalless draw with Bohemians — when his stunning effort produced an incredible save from James Talbot — his manager is thrilled with the 26-year-old.  

“It’s just crucial for Chris to enjoy his football,” Stephen O’Donnell said last night. “When he does that, in my opinion he’s the best player in the league. I said to them before the game that I want people from Derry leaving, saying: ‘Chris Forrester, what a great player he is.’ 

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stephen-odonnell St Pat's manager Stephen O'Donnell. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

“He’s got that talent. He was very good on Friday and there’s still a lot more to come from him, but I want people, neutrals from Dublin and that, coming up to Richmond Park to see Chris Forrester play because he has that ability.”

Last night’s result at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium leaves Pat’s just two points behind fourth-placed Derry ahead of Friday’s final round of fixtures.

The Foylesiders, who will have home advantage in a derby against Finn Harps, are still in the driving seat to seal the final European place. However, a win for Pat’s away to already-crowned champions Dundalk, coupled with a favour from Harps, would make for a dramatic finale.

“It was a good win,” said O’Donnell, whose side fell behind against Derry through David Parkhouse’s 53rd-minute opener. “I was happy with the way we were playing even when we went 1-0 down. I thought it was against the run of play.

“The thing I’m most pleased about is that we struggled to score goals all season and when we go 1-0 down it could’ve been easy for their heads to drop, but they kept playing and got their rewards with a great impact from the three subs who came on.

“We should’ve beaten Bohs on Friday and I think if you do get that first goal, the shackles come off a little bit. We got that first goal, the equaliser, and we kicked on from there.” 

– Additional reporting by Simon Collins 

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