Champions up next for Limerick FC

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st pats v limerickLIMERICK FC travel to Richmond Park on Saturday to face champions St Patrick’s Athletic in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division (kick-off 3:15pm, live on RTE Two).

The sides drew 0-0 when they last met in September 2013, although Limerick suffered a 3-0 defeat on their previous visit to the Inchicore venue nine months ago.

Manager Stuart Taylor is hopeful that the resilience and defensive solidity shown in that goalless draw at Thomond Park will be repeated at the weekend, albeit that he will remain true to his attack-minded principles.

He said: “What we did that night was try to win the game. I think the best line of defence is attack and I’ll always be that way. We tried something last year [in the 3-0 defeat] and it was working until a couple of minutes before half-time. They didn’t create any chances and, all in all, we had a better spell without dominating.

“They didn’t pass the ball like they usually do, so we’ve got to take confidence from that and go up there again and do something similar, but this time keep a clean sheet until half-time.”

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Last Friday, the Super Blues suffered their first league defeat of the season, going down 2-1 to Dundalk at Oriel Park. Shane Tracy’s 40-yard free kick put Limerick in front but goals from Patrick Hoban and Kurtis Byrne ensured victory for the Lilywhites.

Limerick’s starting 11 had an average age of just 21, with several of the club’s youngsters given an opportunity on a night when injuries and suspension limited Taylor’s options.

They will be boosted for Saturday’s match by the return of captain Shane Duggan, who was suspended for the Dundalk game after his red card against Bray Wanderers on the opening day.

Despite Friday’s result, which leaves the Super Blues 10th in the table, the manager drew upon some positive aspects of the team’s performance.

“I thought we did very well. I didn’t see Dundalk creating any major chances in the game. There were bits and pieces but nothing that caused us any real problems. It was never a case of backs to the wall.

“[The players] know the mistakes that they made and I’m sure it’s a case of them learning from it. These are the wee things we need to iron out, but in my opinion the boys did very well and it was a real young side.

“I think we had five under 19s playing. You look at the bigger picture and what that means to the club. It stands the club in good stead for the future.

“It was good experience for our young players and a good education for them, but we were very disappointed to come away with nothing. I felt we deserved something out of the game.”