Liam Buckley admitted St Pat's have been dealing with "a different type of pressure" this season after their crucial defeat of Derry City, but is hoping his men have turned a corner that could still see the campaign end in glory.

The Saints climbed out of the relegation zone with a 2-1 defeat of the Candystripes at Richmond Park in a terrific clash on Friday night.

Boosted by the positive presence of recent signings Jordi Balk and Killian Brennan, Buckley's charges found a way to get a hugely important three points.

"I think we deserved our win," Buckley told RTÉ Sport.

"We played well, passed it well, created quite a few chances. In fairness Derry weren't too bad either but we're just delighted with the win. You need a bit of a break.

"To give the goal away the way we did was disappointing at half-time but we knew we were still in the match.

"We did create the bulk of the chances in the first half. I thought we played better tn the second half bar the last five or ten minutes when we got a bit nervy once went 2-1 up, but overall I think we probably deserved our win."

Buckley reserved special praise for Brennan, who arrived from Drogheda United at the start of the month, and Balk, captured last week from Dutch second-tier outfit FC Oss.

And although Pat's are up to ninth after that victory, he's braced for a gruelling slog to ensure safety.

"We knew Killian was quality, we've had him here before. Jordi has done fantastically well at centre-back. He's landed running and done really, really well.

"We've got to take each match as it comes. There's not an easy game in the league. There's still five or six teams that can be dragged into the bottom three and we're one of them.

"We've just got to maintain our focus now. It's a different type of pressure we're under this year. Previous years we'd be trying to get a European spot. That said, we just need to get out of the bottom three and see where we go from there. There's still the FAI Cup to play for."