Stephen Kenny believes Dundalk can go one better

Lilywhites travel to Belarus on Tuesday to take on BATE Borisov

 David McMillan’s first leg goal was key as Dundalk progressed in the Champions League qualifiers. Photograph: Inpho

David McMillan’s first leg goal was key as Dundalk progressed in the Champions League qualifiers. Photograph: Inpho

 

Dundalk are in Belarus on Tuesday night to face their 2015 conquerors BATE Borisov and they will be hoping to put in just as strong a performance in the first leg as they did 12 months ago.

At the Borisov Arena last July, the Lilywhites went down on a scoreline of 2-1 but they put in arguably their best ever performance under Stephen Kenny as they levelled the match through David McMillan after falling behind to an early opener. They went on to lose the tie having drawn 0-0 at home but manager Kenny is confident his players can avenge that this time around.

“I believe in the quality of the players. BATE Borisov got the shock of their lives last year because we outplayed them for long periods. They would not have expected that. They’ll be better prepared for us this year but I think we have to back ourselves.

“I believe in what we are doing here. Football is about players and we have a talented group. We want to produce that talent against a top team like BATE. We have to match their level and sustain it. I am confident we can do that.”

The back-to-back Airtricity League champions can draw confidence from their capacity to score goals away from home with seven of them coming in the four games under Kenny including two last week when they needed them against FH. The Lilywhites went through to the third round thanks to an away goals victory over the Icelandic champion with McMillan firing the crucial brace.

That put them just one step from a potential group stage in either the premier competition or indeed the Europa League. The immediate focus, however, is on overturning BATE.

Brian Gartland is the only injury for the travelling Dundalk squad as he underwent surgery on his wrist last week. Everyone else is fit as Kenny’s champions aim to continue their fine form on the continent and overcome the Belarusian champions.

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