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Dublin: 11 °C Wednesday 23 October, 2019
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'I believe we can cause an upset, a lot of the lads do. We gave them too much respect last time'

St Pat’s captain Ian Bermingham is expecting a reaction from his players as they go to IFK Norrköping chasing a 2-0 deficit.

St Pat's captain Ian Bermingham.
St Pat's captain Ian Bermingham.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC captain Ian Bermingham is confident his side can spring an upset and overturn their first-leg Europa League defeat to IFK Norrköping on Thursday night.

Lee Desmond’s second-half own goal sees the Saints chasing a 2-0 deficit from last week’s performance at Richmond Park and know they’ll have a mountain to climb when they take on their Swedish opponents.

Harry Kenny’s side will need to record one of the biggest European away victories in the club’s history if they are to progress to the next round of the competition.

“They dominated the game from the 20-minute mark,” captain Ian Bermingham tells The42. 

“The better team won on the night. I felt we probably gave them too much respect. They’re a good side, in fairness to them. 

I thought we started the game quite well in the first 15 minutes. We got after them a little bit. They were giving the ball back to us and kicking it out of play as we got up the pitch. I don’t know really what it was after that; whether we stepped off them or they just sort of calmed down after a few minutes and started playing.

“It was a disappointing night. We’ve know we’ve got it all to do. We’re confident that we can go and score. We had a couple of decent chances last Thursday so there’s no reason why we can’t do that again and put one or two away.”

Simon Thern gave the home side the lead at Richmond Park, but it was Desmond’s header into his own net which leaves the Premier Division side with a mountain to climb.

A 1-0 would have left us right in the game. But the second goal did really kill us. The goals conceded were sloppy enough.

“Now, we’re still in the game – but it’ll be a tall order. For the first [goal], we gave the ball away from open play. It was a poor ball and they broke. You can’t give good players that sort of time, because they’ll go on and punish you.”

Kasper Larsen celebrates scoring his side's second goal Kasper Larsen and team-mates celebrate their side's second goal. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Goal shy

The task will be made all the more difficult based on St Pat’s performances in front of goal this year.

Of their 25 Premier Division matches, they’ve managed to score twice in a game on just four occasions. With only 21 league goals so far this term, they’re the only team in the top half of the table with a negative goal difference.

Their 2-1 win away to Waterford at the start of July was just the second time this season they’d won an away game by scoring two goals – the only other occasion was against relegation-threatened Finn Harps (2-0) at the beginning of the term.

Despite the stark statistical reading, the 30-year-old is confident that the Dubliners can record an historic victory on the road.

“I believe we can cause an upset. A lot of the lads do, but we have to be that bit better than we were last week.

The key is to be starting the game well.  Start on the front foot and go have a go off them. They’re going to have a spell in the game when they have the ball and we’ll have our spell. 

“If we can start well and get after them to create those couple of chances, then brilliant.

But if it takes us 70 minutes to get a goal, so be it. There’s 20 minutes to go with the pressure on them at home. We’ll be going for the jugular then.  We can’t go gung-ho starting off because they’re a good side. The tie could be over before it even starts.

“But we know we can create those chances against them. The killer thing will be is if we concede, the tie will be over in a sense. It’s important that we keep it tight and not give up easy chances.

“When the chance comes our way, we have to score.”

Kick-off at the Östgötaporten is at 7pm.

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