Friday 9 December 2016

Towell insists 'comfortable' Dundalk can improve for BATE decider

Published 17/07/2015 | 02:30

15 July: Richie Towell, center, Dundalk, in action against Evgeni Yablonski, Bate during the UEFA Champions League, Second Qualifying Round, First Leg, Bate v Dundalk
15 July: Richie Towell, center, Dundalk, in action against Evgeni Yablonski, Bate during the UEFA Champions League, Second Qualifying Round, First Leg, Bate v Dundalk

Richie Towell says Dundalk have drawn strength from their narrow first-leg defeat to BATE Borisov because it proved they have to quality to match the Champions League regulars.

  • Go To

The midfielder was deflated in the immediate aftermath of the 2-1 reverse and was annoyed he didn't take a second-half opportunity to secure a draw.

When he reflected on the game, however, Towell took heart from realising the League of Ireland champions could match their esteemed opponents in key areas.

"We're a bit disappointed but we know the tie is within our reach," said Towell, "If we go back to Oriel (next Wednesday) and play the way we can then I still think we can go through.

"We're a hard-working team and they (BATE) found that out. We were a bit sloppy in possession - we did have a lot of it.

"We probably thought they were going to have the lion's share because that's how they play most of their league games so I think it was a shock to their system. But, as Stephen (Kenny) said, we are capable of better."

Positives

"We know where we need to improve, so there's positives and negatives we can take from the game. The tie is still alive.

"Nothing surprised us on the night in terms of styles of play, patterns of play, set-pieces.

"We felt comfortable in the game. I felt very comfortable myself, and I'm really looking forward to the second leg now. I'm very confident."

Dundalk have announced that all 3,200 tickets for the second leg have been sold and they are not confident about a request to UEFA via the FAI to install extra temporary seating for another 1,000 supporters.

But they do believe they have a case with UEFA when it comes to the possibility of retrospective punishment for BATE's star man Vitali Rodionov. He appeared to headbutt Dane Massey after BATE's second goal, and the incident was caught on camera.

Dundalk had 24 hours to request a UEFA investigation and they sent the details and evidence yesterday; the referee missed the incident but the UEFA delegate was made aware.

Massey was unequivocal about what happened. "I couldn't believe it," he said. "He just leaned in and planted one on me. I was a bit stunned."

Meanwhile, FAI CEO John Delaney has again stressed the importance for Irish football of making Euro 2016.

"We never do budgets based on qualifying but there's a lot of money at stake," said Delaney.

"There's €12m if you qualify so that's extra money to put back into the game or reduce the Aviva debt."

Irish Independent

Read More

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport