Monday 23 October 2017

Rovers look to the spirit of Belgrade as classy Russians come to Tallaght

HOOPS midfielder Stephen Rice will call upon the spirit of Belgrade as Shamrock Rovers attempt to produce another European night to remember.

The Tallaght side secured their place in the group stage of the Europa League with an extra-time victory over Partizan Belgrade last month.

But visitors Rubin Kazan, from Russia, arrive in Dublin determined to salve the bitter disappointment of their Champions League exit.

Rice believes the memories of their triumph in Serbia will serve his side well:

"Obviously, winning in a place like Belgrade gives great confidence to everyone in the squad, and we are looking to go and get results in the next six games.

"We are not saying we are going to do this, that and the other, we are just going to take each game as it comes, so we are just focusing on tomorrow and looking to get a result against Kazan, hopefully.

"The other five games are down the road and we will deal with them when they come along."

The game is expected to be played in front of a capacity crowd of 8,400.

However, Rovers manager Michael O'Neill is taking a measured approach to his team's big night.

He said: "It's a big game, it what you want to be involved in as a player, as a manager, as a coach and I look forward to the challenge now of the Europa League.

"I am not really one for making bold statements that it is going to be the biggest night of my career or anything like that.

"It's an occasion for the players to savour, for the supporters to savour and for the staff and everyone connected with the club to savour, and that's what we intend to do.

"The expectation level is with Kazan and we have everything to gain from this game and he other five games that we play in the Europa League."

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