Ger O’Brien has won it all as a player; a decorated career has left the defender with an SSE Airtricity League winner’s medal. He also lists FAI Cup winner, League Cup winner, President's Cup winner and Leinster Senior Cup winner among his honours.
Now working as director of football for the club's underage set-up and a coach with the first team at St Patrick’s Athletic, the former full-back has no plans to uncork the champagne or celebrate in any way should the Saints survive.
Victory over Derry City on Friday night will ensure their place in the top flight for next season at least.
The club have battled the drop for most of the season, their early struggles were compounded by a torrid start to the campaign.
Liam Buckley's lackluster charges managed just one point from their first five games in the SSE Airtricity League.
Back to back wins in Dublin derbies over Bohs and Rovers after that didn’t spark an improvement in form, they limped along until the summer break came.
A mid-season overhaul brought about an improvement in fortunes, with the arrival of Killian Brennan, Paul O’Connor and Owen Garvan significantly strengthening Liam Buckley’s midfield.
The towering Dutchman Jordi Balk offered defensive solidity and contributed a crucial goal as they picked up three points last week by beating the champions Cork City 4-2 at Richmond Park.
The Saints still find themselves fighting for survival on the last day of the season, the premature pitch invasion a week ago would’ve unsettled even the most optimistic supporter.
Chickens were counted, but safety has yet to be secured. A result away to Derry City will insure the Saints maintain their status.
O’Brien isn’t expecting the players’ reaction to mirror that of some Saints fans, for a man so successful in his playing days toasting survival is not something he plans to do:
“There’s going to be no celebrations for staying up, I don’t think teams should celebrate finishing 4th bottom being honest with you, there’ll be a sense of relief alright but certainly no celebrations from my end or the players end.
“It won’t be misconstrued from the fans coming on, we can’t prevent the fans coming on, we got into the dressing room (after the Cork game) we spoke about how well we played second half and where we feel we can improve, it was the same Saturday morning when we went in training.
“There is no cause for celebration; there’ll be a sense of relief if we do manage to avoid relegation but we need to learn from it and we need to make sure we sit down and have a review of the season and speak to the players.
Former St Pats manager Johnny McDonnell criticised their approach and attitude before the Cork City clash while appearing as a pundit on eir Sport, claiming that the club has lacked drive, character and leadership all season.
A former player and manager with the club, he hit out at what he felt was a misguided attitude of “We’ll be alright”.
McDonnell perceived the Saints approach to their struggles to be blasé.
O’Brien strongly feels maintaining an air of confidence publicly was important, even if it didn’t convey the private panic being felt by players and management:
“I don’t think anyone is going to come out publicly and say we’re terrified, in every dressing room when the door closes things get said and things are put on the players and the staff.
“Ultimately you’re not going to go out to the papers and say this, anyone who knows Liam Buckley knows the type of man he is, he’s really laid back in life and in management.
“He certainly was (concerned) from earlier than the midpoint we knew (we were in trouble), we wouldn’t have made those signings if he felt that we were relaxed.
“We knew what we needed to do, in fairness to Gareth the owner, he backed Liam in the transfer window and we were able to move players on and get some in.
“It’s very easy to look from the outside and say St Pats are calm and relaxed and think they are too good to go down, it’s such a cliché that’s said all the time that teams think they’re too good to go down, I don’t think there’s anyone in our dressing room thinking we’re alright we’ll win games.
O'Brien could also bemoan their lack of luck. They could've been spared the final day date with destiny after enduring a sickening set-back earlier this month.
Conceding a late equaliser to Limerick as they drew 2-2 at home earlier this month:
“We know how tough this league is, it’s very unforgiving as we seen against Limerick, those two points (could’ve secured safety) then literally the last kick of the game, four and half minutes into stoppage time and we concede.
“There was certainly no calmness in the dressing room after that, it’s very easy to sit on the outside and say these things nobody knows what goes on behind closed doors.
“When you see people going on telly and radio they have a platform to say these things, they don’t know the facts.
“The only way you can prove these people wrong is results on the pitch and unfortunately we haven’t done it enough this season.
“Since the summer I wouldn’t say anyone has been panicking but there’s certainly been nobody relaxed about the situation, if that was the case we wouldn’t have signed anyone in the summer.
“We knew we needed to improve, that might just be the difference between us staying up next Friday.
The Saints will be safe if they secure a point against Derry City, they could avoid the drop even if they lose.
That all depends on whether or not Galway United to fail to get a result against Dundalk, or Sligo Rovers lose to doomed Drogheda United.
It’s unlikely to be settled by goal difference, but Liam Buckley’s men have a four-goal advantage over Sligo.
After a successful career as a player, O’Brien will not celebrate a season that has ultimately been a failure.
A reduced budget and the loss of some key players in the close season are not excuses the Dubliner will use when the dust has settled.
Even when winning Leagues and Cups, the Saints operated on a smaller budget than most of the teams they were beating.
They’ve failed to reach their own high standards this season, surviving the drop won’t offer any solace for a St Pats team who under-performed and underachieved in 2017.
The job won’t be done on Friday night, for Liam Buckley, Ger O’Brien and any players lucky enough to be retained for 2018, it’ll only be beginning.