Dundalk boss Stephen Kenny believes pressure on Rosenborg

Win would set-up big money clash with Celtic in next round

Dundalk’s David McMillan scores against Rosenborg in  the Champions League Second qualifying round, first leg   at Oriel Park, Dundalk.

Dundalk’s David McMillan scores against Rosenborg in the Champions League Second qualifying round, first leg at Oriel Park, Dundalk.

 

Rosenborg (1) v Dundalk (1), Lerkendal Stadion, Trondheim, 6.15pm (Irish time) – Live RTÉ 2 from 6pm.

Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny feels the pressure will be firmly on Rosenborg when the two clubs meet in their Champions League second-leg tie at the Lerkendal Stadium this evening.

After a 1-1 draw at Oriel Park last week, the Lilywhites will need to score in Norway if they are to have any chance of progressing to a potential money-spinning third qualifying round showdown with Celtic.

Kenny’s side have scored in eight of their previous nine European away games and speaking from the team’s hotel in Trondheim, the 45-year-old said he had every faith that the League of Ireland champions could bring another big European club to its knees.

“For Rosenborg, to lose to us would be a catastrophe,” stated Kenny. “They’ve been in the group stages of European competition for 16 of the last 21 years so for them to lose to Irish opposition would be a catastrophe.

“They’ll be quite confident after getting the 1-1 draw in Dundalk but to me, the away goal isn’t as relevant as people think it is unless you draw nil-all – and that’s rare. If we draw nil-all and we lose, then we accept that but that’s unlikely.

“We’re capable of stepping up again,” he added. “We’re going to have to play the game of our lives, defend really well and put in an extraordinary performance but it’s not beyond us to try and get a result.

“I’m not underestimating the challenge and I’m not coming into it with my eyes closed. I understand Rosenborg’s mindset will be completely different here than what it was in Dundalk but we mustn’t underestimate the talent we have on our team.”

Key player

Roy Keane, with 15, is the only Irishman to have scored more in Europe’s premier club competition and Kenny lavished praise on the 28-year-old, who ironically, was close to a move to Rosenborg last winter.

“I know David played it down a bit last week but he was obviously one of two or three players that Rosenborg were looking at,” said Kenny. “I think finances had been discussed and all of that but obviously it didn’t happen.

“He certainly has improved by adding and improving aspects of his game. Number one his heading ability, number two his movement in the box, number three his first touch has got better and the other thing that has got better is his hold-up play generally with his back to goal.”

Kenny will assess the fitness of Danish centre-back Niclas Vemmelund before selecting his team. The former Derry City star limped off in the first-leg with a hamstring injury but did take part in some running over the weekend.

“We’ll have to review that one and see,” said Kenny. “I don’t want him playing and then coming off after 20 minutes. That’s a disaster for you as a manager, especially if you’re trying to win a game because attacking substitutions are important.”

Paddy Barrett is on standby to replace Vemmelund while club captain Stephen O’Donnell is also in contention for a place in the starting XI.

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