Stephen Kenny remaining upbeat ahead of Dundalk’s uphill task in Croatia
Boss insists his side will do all in their power to turn the tie around against Hajduk Split
Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny. “It’s a tough ask but all we can do is prepare well, make sure we are more compact in midfield and try our utmost to win the game. We won’t be throwing in the towel.” Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny has called on his side to pull off the club’s greatest achievement in Europe when they face Hajduk Split in the second leg of their Europa League qualifier in Croatia tonight.
Dundalk are 2-0 down from the first leg and only once in the club’s history have they recovered from defeat in the first game to advance in Europe, back in 1981-1982 when they they overcame Icelandic team Fram Reykjavik in the 1981-82 European Cup Winners Cup.
The odds may be stacked against them but Kenny insists his side will do everything in their power to try and turn the tie around at the Stadion Poljud.
“It’s a tough ask but all we can do is prepare well, make sure we are more compact in midfield and try our utmost to win the game. We won’t be throwing in the towel,” he said.
Genuinely unlucky“In the first game, we had the better chances and I felt we were genuinely unlucky and I think there is room for improvement in our performance too. Hajduk probably feel it is a formality but only time will tell.”
Kenny’s bullish attitude was shared by Dundalk right-back Sean Gannon. The 23-year-old’s swaggering display won him the man of the match award in the first leg and he also believes that Dundalk could do what many consider to be mission impossible.
“We’re a confident bunch. We don’t fear any team and we’ll go over there and give it a right good go. “I’ve lit a few candles and I’ve showered in holy water all week,” he laughed.
“Seriously though, we have shown that we can match them. It’s not over yet. We know it’s an uphill task but we’ve played too well this season to just go out with a whimper. There is another 90 minutes to be played and anything can happen.”