Stephen Kenny: ‘I'd like the St Pat's fans to take Jake Mulraney to their hearts’

St Patrick’s Athletic boss Stephen Kenny has called on Saints fans to get behind winger Jake Mulraney ahead of the second half of the campaign. 

Crumlin lad Mulraney, 28, has become a mainstay under Kenny at Richmond Park since the former Ireland chief took charge of the Athletic. 

But he came under heavy fire from sections of their support on Thursday night when blazing a big chance over the bar for the Saints against Shamrock Rovers. 

All’s well that ends well though as Kenny’s men came from behind to triumph 2-1 with two late goals from substitutes Ruairi Keating and Brandon Kavanagh. 

And Kenny said of winger Mulraney: “I'd like the St Pat's fans to take Jake to their hearts, I want him to get as much love and appreciation as he deserves. 

“He made a big decision to come back from America and walked out on a very good contract to come back as he's local from Crumlin. 

“He needs to feel that appreciation and if he feels it all the time he will give it back in spades because he's a natural talent and exciting to watch. 

“But he needs to feel appreciated. He's one of the real talents in the league that we should appreciate. Not everyone has every attribute and we mustn't look at what he doesn't have and must appreciate what he does have.”

Kenny then revealed that he explored calling up the Dubliner to his Ireland squad when Mulraney was plying his trade in the MLS.

The more Jake plays, because he didn’t play a lot this year, the better he’ll get,” he began. “If he can have a run without getting injured, he needs a bit of luck with that, I think he’s an excellent player. 

“We looked at him for the international team when he was in America. We looked at a lot of his matches. He was playing sometimes as a left-wing back and he’s not really a defender. 

“He’s definitely an attacker but he was playing at left wing-back a bit. We did look at him and some of his games in the early days. 

“He was something different in terms of an explosive sort of player but it didn’t materialise.”