- Wednesday July 6th, 2011 @ 17:01
SAINTS LOOKING TO GO FURTHER INTO THE UNKOWN
St Patrick's Athletic take on ÍBV Vestmannaeyjar at Richmond Park tonight in the second leg of the UEFA Europa League First Qualifying Round (kick off 7.45 pm).
The Icelandic side hold a slender 1-0 advantage from the first leg last Thursday and though the victors may face the daunting task of a trip to Kazakhstan, Saints' boss Pete Mahon has indicated that his side will be going all out to progress from the tie.
Dave Mulcahy (knee and calf) is the Saints' main doubt ahead of the game.
The influential midfielder has been carrying a knee injury for a number of weeks and also picked up a calf strain against Shamrock Rovers on Sunday.
Derek Pender is still suffering from a bruised instep but trained last night and should be available.
Stephen Bradley has an abscess on his tooth and is undergoing a course of antibiotics to ensure he is 100% fit by Thursday.
"Our opponents are a good team and people should be under no illusions about that. We will have to be at our very best to beat them but that's what we want to do because we intend on staying in this competition.
"From what I've seen of them I know that we can create chances against them. What we have to be careful of though, is that we don't concede the away goal.
"While we will create chances we would have to have a lot of good spells in the game in order to score three goals and that will be very, very difficult against this side.
"Even though the traveling in the next round wouldn't be ideal it's important for us to stay in this competition for as long as we possibly can.
"It's great experience for the players and myself and it's a good opportunity to pit your wits against coaches and players from different countries with different ideas.
"If we get a result tomorrow night we won't care where we have to travel so the focus is on getting through this round.
"It will be my first match managing St Pats in Europe at home and it's an important occasion for me and the players.
"I hope the St Pats fans really come out to support the team. I remember coming here (Richmond Park) years ago and the place was packed to the rafters, I hope that some of those people will come back for this game.
"If they do come back they'll see that we're not a bad team and we want to give them a reason to keep coming back.
"If we get a big crowd we can get the place rocking from the start, get at them and make it difficult for them."