Saturday 22 October 2016

O'Neill has Euro vision


UCD manager Collie O'Neill (right) says his side's biggest strength going into tonight's Europa League second qualifying round first leg with Slovan Bratislava could be that the Slovakian side underestimate the Students.

Having received unlikely entry to the qualification rounds for the Europa League after Ireland finished third in the UEFA Respect Fair Play rankings, an unfancied UCD side went on to stun F91 Dudelange of Luxembourg in the first round of qualification, going through on away goals after Ryan Swan scored a goal in each of leg.

Next up for O'Neill's side are Slovan this evening in Bratislava, a side which represent a huge step up in class.

O'Neill was under no illusions about the scale of the challenge ahead, but was quietly confident about his side's ability, and insistent they were not there simply to make up the numbers.

"(Slovan) are definitely a step, if not two, up, but they do have some weak points as well," O'Neill. "We have a plan, to try and stop them from playing, and then we have other little bits, to try and pick them off."

He dismissed any notion that this was bonus time for UCD. "We still want to get through this. We are loving it. It is very good. We are enjoying it. We don't want it to stop. We're not just here for the sake of it," he added.

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