JASON BYRNE says will be ready to take a place on the bench for Bohemians as they begin their Champions League quest at home to Welsh side TNS tomorrow night, writes AIDAN
And the former international is keen to get back on the goal trail in European football so he can break the scoring record he currently shares with former team-mate Glen Crowe.
Byrne has been a major concern for Bohs since he pulled up with a back injury during a league game away to Galway United last month and he missed the last four games. But he is now close to full fitness, having played for the reserve side on Saturday and Byrne hopes to be in the squad for the visit of TNS.
"I feel fine and I hope to be on the bench. I'm fit to play but maybe not fit enough to start," he says.
"I was on the bench for the game in Drogheda on Friday, though that game was abandoned because of a floodlight problem and I got a run out for the A Championship team against Sligo on Saturday. It was good to play and score in that.
"Even if I was fully fit I don't know if I'd get in to the side, the lads have been doing well without me and Paddy Madden is on fire. But I should be on the bench, maybe I can play some part and then I may be fully fit for the second leg in Wales next week," added Byrne, who, along with Crowe, has scored 10 goals in European competition.
"It would be nice to nick one against TNS and go ahead of Crowie. There's a nice little battle between us there for the all-time record, we both have ten goals and I want to score more.
"I know it won't be easy against TNS. Pat Fenlon has had them watched and he says they're a good side. He said they play in a similar way to Sporting Fingal and they have some decent, experienced players so we'll be careful of them.
"But it is a good chance for us to get through. If we do beat TNS we're guaranteed at least four more games in Europe. It's a massive game for the club overall as it's a chance to get some finance in, and it's up to the players to do the business now," added Byrne.