Daunting assignment for Derry City in Denmark

Opponents FC Midtiylland defeated Man United at home last season

 Kenny Shiels: “We will do all in our power to secure a favourable result and try and keep the game alive for the second leg.” Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Kenny Shiels: “We will do all in our power to secure a favourable result and try and keep the game alive for the second leg.” Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

 

Kenny Shiels’ Derry City squad left City of Derry Airport yesterday morning on their chartered flight to Denmark for what many feel is a mission impossible assignment against FC Midtiylland on Thursday. (7pm Irish time)

The Derry City boss is expected to plan without the services of full-back, Conor McDermott (groin) and midfield playmaker, Barry McNamee (ankle) while another defender, Dean Jarvis, is also struggling with a muscle problem.

All three, however, were aboard the plane, as Derry attempt to secure a favourable result against the side which ended Southampton’s hopes in this competition last season.

Midtiylland also defeated Manchester United 2-1 in Denmark in February, 2016, before crashing to a 5-1 defeat in the second leg at Old Trafford

“Obviously It’s going to be a very tough game for us,” admitted Shiels. “We will be clearly hampered by a number of injuries and that, added to the quality of the opponent, certainly doesn’t make it any easier,” he added.

“Barry [McNamee] rolled an ankle in training this week. It’s badly swollen and he’s also had an X-ray. Unless he makes a remarkable recovery over the next 24 hours, he will not be involved,” claimed the Derry boss.

“Conor McDermott is definitely out with groin injury sustained against Cork and he will also struggle to be available for the second leg. However, Dean Jarvis has an abductor muscle problem and is doubtful, but he will have his fitness tested in Denmark.

“The full squad has travelled and while it will be difficult, we’ve no fears. We will do all in our power to secure a favourable result and try and keep the game alive for the second leg which will be played in Sligo.

“The players will certainly be up for it and I think it’s very important that we try to reproduce the same intensity as that displayed against Cork last Friday night,” he concluded.

FC Midtiylland played over 20 games in Europe in the past three seasons and the Danes were the second-highest ranked team of the 100 teams in the first round Europa League draw.

They also boast the services of former Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid midfielder, Rafael van der Vaart while their top scorer, with 18 league goals last season, is Nigerian international striker, Paul Onuachu.

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