Stephen Doyle
Stephen Doyle

15.43 17 Jul 2019


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St Patrick's Athletic boss Harry Kenny wants his players to take inspiration from Tottenham and Liverpool's European heroics when they take on Norrköping in the Europa League on Thursday night (7.00 PM Irish time).

On the face of it the Saints don't look to have a prayer of overcoming a 2-0 deficit from their home leg against a side that had nine internationals starting at Richmond Park.

"It’s a tough ask, but there is no point in being in the tie if you are not going to go for it so we’ll get our plans done," Kenny admitted when speaking to stpatsfc.com.

In last season's Champions League semi-finals, Tottenham were 3-0 down on aggregate at half-time in the second leg away to Ajax while Liverpool took Barcelona back to Anfield after a crushing 3-0 defeat at the Camp Nou.

Both sides shook European football with historic comebacks and the Saints boss is hoping that his players can take inspiration from those results.

"I thought we acquitted ourselves quite well in the first leg, but just gave away two sloppy goals," Kenny added.

"And football is funny like that when you look at Spurs and Liverpool last season turning around their European semi-final deficits in cup football.

"So if we get a goal early on at any stage, or even into the second half, it puts the frighteners on them a little bit and you never know what could happen.

"The whole stadium and the opposition can get nervy and can go quiet so we’ll be trying to get the first goal and take it from there."

The Dubliners didn't play too badly until the Swedish club took advantage of a sloppy pass out from the hosts' defence and Simon Thern opened the scoring in the 55th minute.

Gudmundur Thorarinsson pulled the strings from deep in midfield and Jordan Larsson, son of Celtic legend Henrik, proved to be a real threat cutting in from the right wing onto his lethal left foot while their defence did not cough up too many chances.

Kenny still believes there are weaknesses to be exploited but that patience will be required.

“I’ve looked back at the game already and we have got to find areas of the pitch that we can hurt them," said Kenny.

"We certainly won’t be going gung-ho from the start of the game as the game is over 90 minutes, but we’ll be looking to throw people forward if we are in a spot of bother.”

"It has to be said, they are a very good team with some really good players and lots of internationals. They played particularly well in Richmond Park, and especially in the second half where they pulled us around a little bit.

"But I’m looking forward to the game as we’ll play them now in a lovely stadium that has an astro pitch.

"It’s all different for ourselves and that is what Europe is all about.  It’s an exciting time for the club and we’ve just got to try and get through the tie."

The good news ahead of kick-off is that Kenny has a fully fit squad to choose from.

You can watch the highlights of the first leg here.


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