Saturday 29 April 2017

Stellar away record gives Stephen Kenny hope that Dundalk can progress

Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Stephen Kenny has admitted that his Dundalk players walked into the dressing room after the Champions League first leg draw with FH in a mood which made it seem like they had suffered a defeat.

The late concession in Wednesday's 1-1 draw checked the momentum of the League of Ireland champions but Kenny reminded his troops that they have time to turn it around.

He is also taking heart from Dundalk's superior goalscoring record on their travels this season. 29 of their 46 away goals in the league have come away from home.

"The evidence would back that up but we have a tough ask next Wednesday," said Kenny, "Going away in Europe is (hard) but we have shown a capacity to score goals away from home and we have to do it next week. We are kicking ourselves that we've conceded but that's the way it goes. Coming off the pitch all our players felt like it was a defeat but it is only half-time."

The Dubliner says that his team will adopt their usual positive approach in the decider rather than altering their strategy with the Icelandic champions knowing that a scoreless draw would put them through.

"We need to score. That's the way we play and we're going to play the way we always play. I dont think we will alter things too much. We just have to make sure that is good enough on the night. There were good passages of play on Wednesday but other times we were careless in possession.

"There are no grey areas for us about the second game. We have to make sure we hit the ground running."

Dundalk are looking to increase their guaranteed pay-out from UEFA to €1.2m by getting through the most important hurdle in Europe from their perspective. Today, they will also find out what would lie in store if they make it through when UEFA stage the draw for the third qualifying round in Switzerland.

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