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Wednesday 27 August 2014

Jeunesse still a threat insists first-leg hero

James Rogers

Published 09/07/2014 | 05:20

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Richie Towell pounces to score his and Dundalk’s second goal to put them firmly in the driving seat going into the second leg against Jeunesse Esch of Luxembourg. Gerry Schmit/SPORTSFILE

RICHIE Towell has warned his teammates not to become complacent ahead of Thursday night's Europa League first qualifying round second-leg tie against AS Jeunesse Esch at Oriel Park.

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The midfielder's double in Luxembourg last Tuesday ensured that Stephen Kenny's side took a two-goal lead back to Dundalk which leaves the Lilywhites well positioned to advance to a second qualifying round clash against Hadjuk Split next week, but Towell insists that his side must finish the job before they can start to look ahead to a clash with the Croatian outfit.

'We can't be complacent,' he warned.

'They're actually a decent side, with some really good players, and they had a few chances on the night. We know what we have to do on Thursday, but we just have to make sure we're all at the races for it.

'Of course, the goal is to face Hadjuk. We want to progress through every round and it'll be a great tie for us. I'm sure we'd get a great crowd here and a nice crowd over there in a big stadium, but we just need to stay focused for the game in hand.

'There's nothing done yet and we just need to go out and prove that we're good enough to go on to the next round, but I think we'll do that on Thursday,' he said.

While well aware that the tie is far from over, the former Celtic midfielder said it was a dream come true to score twice on his European debut in the Stade de la Frontiére.

'It was perfect,' he said.

'Obviously our main objective was to go over there, try and score and keep a clean sheet. We managed to get two, but to keep the clean sheet was the main thing because we have a good base to build on now for the next game on Thursday.

'Overall it was just a great trip. It was a new chapter for a lot of us in our careers, so it's something we'll always remember, and obviously on a personal level, to get two goals was an amazing feeling.'

Towell also welcomed the weekend's addition of Donal McDermott to the squad, insisting that the 24-year-old had the potential to offer Dundalk 'something different' in the closing stages of the season, having trained alongside him in recent weeks.

'Donal is great. He's technically very good and I think he's something different. He offers something we don't have and he sees passes that others might not.

'He has played at a high level in England and I think he's a really good addition to the squad, so we're looking forward to seeing him playing. I definitely think he has the quality to add to the squad.

'We have a really strong squad at the moment and I don't think the manager wanted too many changes, but if you get a chance to bring in a player like Donal then you have to do that and it's just going to add to our squad now, definitely.'

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