Irish clubs need lucky draw: Perth
Dundalk boss Vinny Perth feels that his side, and other clubs from Ireland, need the luck of the draw if they are to progress in Europe in the future.
The Lilywhites' interest in Europe ended on Tuesday night as they were beaten 3-1 (4-1 on aggregate) by Slovan Bratislava.
Dundalk are straight back to work on domestic duties as they play Finn Harps in the league (tomorrow) and on Monday face Bohemians in the semi-final of the League Cup. "Friday is the one of the biggest games of the season for us now," Perth says.
He admits that his side fell short in their European campaign this season and that his players need to go up some levels before they can compete with the likes of Qarabag, who knocked them out of the Champions League, and their Europa League conquerors, Slovan.
"That this is the highest level of European football, we are operating at the highest level, it doesn't mean you have to give up and think you can't do it," he says.
"I think we can do it, I think Irish football can do it but it's not easy and you need a bit of luck in the draw, that would go a long way," he says.
"Riga was the second-worst side we could have got after Astana, and then we had Qarabag, you need two good draws in the Champions League and then you get two cracks at the Europa League.
"You need players of the highest quality. Going back to 2016 we were completely outplayed by BATE away, we were shocked to only come away with a 1-0. We then had a magical night in Tallaght but you can't rely on those nights, you need to go up levels to be able to compete," Perth added.
"But I don't think the 4-1 is a fair reflection of where we are in comparison to Slovan."