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Tuesday 25 July 2017

Shaw: 'It's not Rover and out for us in Europe'

Rovers’ Gary Shaw. Pic: Sportsfile
Rovers’ Gary Shaw. Pic: Sportsfile

Shamrock Rovers striker Gary Shaw says it's a mistake to write off the club's chances in the Europa League this season.

The Hoops, who had a weekend off from league duty, are off on their travels tomorrow, heading to the Czech Republic to face Mlada Boleslav in the second leg of their second qualifying round tie.

The Czech will fancy their chances of advancing to round three, and meeting with opposition from either Albania or Azerbaijan, on the back of the goals they scored in the 3-2 win in Dublin last week.

Rovers forward Shaw admits that the opposition were the better side on the night, but if Stephen Bradley's men, who need to score twice on Thursday in Mlada Boleslav, 50 miles outside Prague, can cut out their defensive erorrs, they can stay in the tie and in the competition.

"The goals we conceded at home were sloppy from our point of view, we were poor defensively, but we know we can go out there and get a result," says Shaw.

"I think we did well in the home game, even though we lost. People had us written off and we were the underdogs, we still are, but we put it up to them in Tallaght and we need to do the same away from home.

"We should have done better for their goals.

"All week before the home game it was drilled into us, that they were dangerous when we had the ball, because they were very dangerous when we lost possession, they were capable of having the ball in the back of our net in 20 or seconds and they did that.

"It's frustrating from the manager's point of view that it happened but we have to make sure we don't make the same mistakes over there.

"We need to get two goals but we will have done our homework, we look forward to it," added Shaw.

Rovers take confidence from the fact that Graham Burke scored twice, the second goal in added time giving them some hope that they can turn things around, and become the first Irish side ever to overcome Czech opposition in a European tie.

"The second goal in the home leg was crucial for us and we travel over there with a chance," added Shaw.

"I had a great chance when we were 2-1 down, their keeper pulled off a great save to stop it going to 2-2 and seconds later they scored again."

The Hoops hope to have a big support in Mlada Boleslav for Thursday's tie, their first time in the Czech Republic since a 2-0 loss (4-0 on aggregate) to Slovan Liberec in 2003.

One bonus for fans is the cost of following the team: tickets for Thursday's game cost just €6, a stark contrast to the €30 which Hoops supporters had to fork out for the away leg of their win over over Icelandic side Stjarnan.

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