Tommy Barrett says that Limerick are “fairly on target” for the first round of fixtures in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division, with the penultimate match of that coming against Saint Patrick’s Athletic at Richmond Park on Friday night (kick-off 7.45pm).
The Shannonsiders have collected eight points from their opening seven games, which leaves them in sixth position, a point and place above this weekend’s opponents who have played one less.
Clashes with Cork City and Shamrock Rovers within the space of three days yielded just a single point, but Barrett felt it could have been more, with the manager pleased with his team’s defensive displays where their two concessions both came from the penalty spot.
“We’re fairly on target. We have our own internal targets, and after six games we were fairly on target points wise to what we were looking for. Maybe, we would have liked a couple of more points, but we’re going alright,” Tommy told LimerickFC.ie.
“Points wise, we’re going okay. Obviously, those two games (Dundalk 8-0 and Derry 5-0), if we had lost those by one or two goals, everyone would be looking at it even rosier. It was just the nature of those.
“But last weekend, we could have had four points, we could have had six points. We ended up with one. Considering the bodies that we were down, it’s satisfactory. You wouldn’t be happy with it – I personally think we should have had four, at least.
“But it’s very difficult against those teams. They’re coming at you, they have more possession – well, certainly Shamrock Rovers did, even though they didn’t create much. It’s definitely difficult when we have our full squad, let alone missing six (for Cork game) and eight players (Rovers).
“The performances, particularly from a defensive point of view, have been decent. We only conceded from two penalties, so that’s a positive. We’ve got to keep it like that. We’ve got to keep things tight, and if we do that then we have a chance in every game. That’s the way that we should be going for the next while – that’s all I’m looking for on Friday night.”
Looking ahead to the test in Inchicore, Barrett added: “St Pat’s are a very good side. They have technically very good players, they like to play good football, and they seem to have tightened up at the back a bit better this year.
“It will be a very difficult task for us, but every game is difficult for us. We have to be on it, we have to be ready to battle, ready to keep it tight, and see can we get a goal.
“St Pat’s will have looked at us now and I’m sure they will have their own game-plan. They can score goals from all over the park. It’s a really difficult task for us going up there, but we’ll give it our best shot.”
St Pat’s are without a win in three, having drawn with Dundalk before losing narrowly to Shamrock Rovers last Friday. They have played just two home games so far, that stalemate with the Lilywhites preceded by a late 3-2 defeat by Cork.
Limerick are without a victory in four, since overcoming Bray Wanderers at the Markets Field a fortnight ago. Prior to their heavy defeats in Dundalk and Derry, they started the campaign with a solid 1-0 win over Sligo Rovers at The Showgrounds in their only other away fixture to date.
Limerick were unbeaten against St Pat’s in 2017, with a win and two draws. The last two meetings both ended 2-2, with the latest of those coming at Richmond Park in October when captain Shane Duggan rescued a precious 95th-minute point for the Superblues.