herald

Thursday 17 August 2017

Brennan: Pressure all on 
Legia

KILLIAN BRENNAN believes that all the pressure is on Polish shoulders as Legia Warsaw head to Dublin for tomorrow's Champions League battle with his St Patrick's Athletic side.

The current European campaign has already seen one continental manager lose his job as Rosenborg ditched their boss in the aftermath of a shock 2-1 loss at home to Sligo Rovers.

And for a club with major European ambitions like Legia, their boss Henning Berg would almost certainly pay the price if his side are knocked out of the Champions League - and out of Europe completely - by Pats.

"We don't feel as if we have anything to lose but a club the size of Legia Warsaw have an awful lot to lose in this game," says Brennan, a veteran of European football from his spells with Derry City, Bohemians and Shamrock Rovers.

"You hear talk about Henning Berg being under a lot of pressure, so hopefully we can take all that into consideration, get at them a bit and exploit their weaknesses.

"Of course they will try and do the same, exploit any weaknesses that we have. By no means will it be an easy night for us but they have to score and that's a massive factor in our favour.

"Legia are a top side and we rode our luck at times in the game in Warsaw, but if we get the ball up the park to Christy Fagan, we can score.

"It was a strange game out there, we drew 1-1 away to a very good Polish side but because they scored so late, it felt like a defeat for us.

"We have seen them in the flesh now and to me, Legia are average at the back. They are very good going forward but they can be caught out defensively - if we get the ball forward we can exploit that weakness. They will be at their game a lot more in Tallaght as they know what's at stake."

Brennan is one of the most experienced Saints players in terms of Europe, making his Euro debut during Derry City's remarkable UEFA Cup run in 2006 which was only ended by PSG.

Memories

He will draw on those memories tomorrow, the good times - beating Gothenburg and drawing with PSG - as well as the bad, like a defeat to Red Bull Salzburg with Bohemians in 2009.

"That tie is similar to this one, at Bohs we did well to draw 1-1 away in the first leg and were only a couple of minutes away from going through but we got caught out at home, lost 1-0 and went out.

"Fingers crossed we can do the job and get into the next round," says Brennan, who hopes to overcome a knee problem in time to keep his place in the starting XI in Tallaght tomorrow night.

"It's an old injury that's really been there since 2009, I didn't train the last few days and we had a rest day yesterday but I hope to train in Tallaght Stadium tonight and be fit for the game."

Pats will train at the ground this evening while Berg - under fire after a home defeat on the opening day of the league campaign last weekend - will lead his side out for their training session tonight.

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