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Monday 24 September 2018

Gartland is keen to get job done against Estonians

Europa League Dundalk v L Tallinn (Oriel Park, 7.45)

View: Brian Gartland
View: Brian Gartland

Dundalk defender Brian Gartland wants to see his side impose their own game on their Estonian guests Levadia Tallinn tonight and advance to the second round of the Europa League.

A 1-0 win in Tallinn last week sets it up nicely for Dundalk to get through to the next phase, where they'd face Larnaca, the Spanish-influenced Cypriot side who knocked Cork City out of the competition last season.

Boss Stephen Kenny insists that the focus is on tonight's game only, time to think about Cypriot football when the job is done, and Gartland knows his team-mates will need to use all of their European experience to make it happen.

"We can't rest on our laurels. We always want to win the game. We always try to go out and win the game. We never hope for a draw, because one bad decision, one bounce of a ball and a goal could go against you," said Tallaght lad Gartland.

"Teams in Europe are clever and if you are chasing the game they will shut up shop and make it difficult for you so we know what we have to do. We will go out and play our own game and try to win the game in front of a packed house.

"We found out in the first few minutes last week that we were in a game. They play a quite open game. They play attacking, with four forwards. They are very fit and they make the pitch very big.

"It's a different test from what we are used to at home here. We were a bit slow coming out of the traps last week but we got our game going in the second half. We worked hard, got the goal and kept a clean sheet. We were happy with our night's work and the away goal was crucial.

"It says it all that we were disappointed that we didn't come away with another one or two. We wanted to kill off the tie, but it's game on and we know what we have to do tonight."

Dundalk managed to add to their their superb domestic record by winning in Estonia last week, 14 wins in a row in all competitions for Kenny's men, a run that Gartland is proud of.

"We are in good form at the moment. Any team in any league would be delighted with how we are playing. Fourteen wins in a row is some achievement and we have been doing well throughout those games," he added.

"We have been enjoying it, but that's in the past. We are always looking ahead. We will take confidence from it and hope to make it 15 wins."

Kenny makes one change to his squad as winger John Mountney misses out through injury, with Stephen O'Donnell and Stephen Folan also absent for the Lilywhites.

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