Friday 23 August 2019

Perth wants positivity for Dundalk's Qarabag test

Dundalk head coach Vinny Perth. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Dundalk head coach Vinny Perth. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Dundalk boss Vinny Perth believes Qarabag are as difficult an opponent as the Irish champions have faced in European opposition.

But he has promised his side won't adopt a negative approach against a team rich in technical ability. Progression through the Champions League second qualifying round would bring Dundalk's guaranteed European earnings to €1.7m.

The Lilywhites also have the safety net of a Europa League parachute if they fall short against the champions of Azerbaijan who qualified for the Champions League group stages in 2017 and reached the Europa League groups in every other year since 2014.

"We see these as the type of side that would cause British and Irish sides more problems in terms of one-touch football," said Perth.

"In that sense, it's as difficult as we've faced. I'd say the difference with someone like Zenit St Petersburg (Europa League opponents in 2016) is that they had more established players and internationals but they weren't as technical as these would be. But we've also seen areas (in Qarabag) where we can exploit them as well. And we're not stuck for players with attacking invention. We need to stay in the tie. We're not going to go out negative all of a sudden."

Qarabag trained at Oriel Park last night, ahead of this evening's first leg, with manager Gurban Gurbanov admitting they would prefer to play on a grass pitch. "It will impact the game but we have no time to speak about that," he said. "Dundalk have quick and rapid players. We know we have a very tough opponent."

Irish Independent

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