Pat’s aim for Europa League progression
St. Patrick’s Athletic will need to score against Valetta in this afternoon’s second leg (4.30pm) to harbour ambitions of reaching the next round
New signing Declan O’Brien kick-started his career with the Saints by opening the scoring in the first leg against Valetta at Richmond Park before the Maltese side cancelled that strike out with an equaliser.
Pat’s renew acquaintances with Valletta this afternoon and O’Brien feels that the Dubliners have enough about them to book their passage into the Europa League Third Qualifying Round.
"It’s always nice when you move to a new club to get a goal early," said O’Brien ahead of today’s match. "I think it gets the monkey off your back so I was thrilled.
"Overall in the game though I was disappointed with how we did in the second half. We gave them a bit too much respect than we should have and they are a very beatable team.
"I think we might have lacked a bit of experience in the second half of the first leg but I think we have learned from it.
"We are certainly confident going into the game, there is nothing for us to be frightened of, they have some good players but we do too."
The former Drogheda United and Dundalk striker says that he is enjoying the start to his career at St. Pat’s, where he has joined on an initial loan deal from the Lilywhites. While his first task will be to help St. Pat’s improve their league position, O’Brien says that playing European football is a real bonus.
"These are the games you want to play in," he said. "As a footballer it is always nice to play in these sort of games, and to play in as many games like these as possible at the highest stage you can get it.
"It’s going well for me at St. Pat’s so far, but the job is nowhere near done against Valletta. We have to score, but we are very confident we can do that."