Monday 23 September 2019

St Pat's defender Lee Desmond eyes Swede surprise

Lee Desmond. Photo: Sportsfile
Lee Desmond. Photo: Sportsfile

Aidan Fitzmaurice

Form and history are against St Patrick's Athletic as they try to pull off a miracle in Sweden tonight and stay in the Europa League.

However, despite the odds being stacked against his side, Saints defender Lee Desmond insists his side won't park the bus as they aim for a win away to IFK Norrkoping.

The Swedes were 2-0 winners last week, making them favourites to advance to a second qualifying round meeting with either Dinamo Minsk (Belarus) or Liepaja (Latvia).

They are unbeaten in their last six home ties in Europe, while Pat's have struggled to score in domestic football, averaging less than a goal a game.

But Desmond says the Dubliners have travelled with hope. "Every time we go out to play we look to win, so tonight will be no different. It will be hard, but why go all the way to Sweden and look for a draw?" he adds.

"Occasions like European football don't come along too often. If we score early, who knows what might happen? So we go and have a go.

"I don't see why we'd sit back. You can't press a side like that for 90 minutes. They are a very good team but we can have a go and try to bring the tie back to life," added Desmond, who concedes that the Swedes are a class apart.

"That was my fourth time being involved in Europe with Pat's and they were the best I have seen."

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