Stephen Kenny seeking "famous victory" on "famous night" for Dundalk

The Premier Division champions face the Belarusian side BATE Borisov at Tallaght Stadium at 8pm


Image: ©INPHO

Dundalk face one of the biggest night's in the club's history this evening as they prepare to face BATE Borisov in their Champions League third round qualifier this evening. 

Stephen Kenny's side trail 1-0 from the opening leg in Belarus and are hoping to reverse their fortunes to progress to the play-off stages when they host BATE at Tallaght Stadium.

"It's a famous night and our intention is that we come out with a famous victory," Stephen Kenny told LMFM. "Our intention wasn't to be as defensive as we were in the Borisov Arena, but to be fair to BATE they played really well and they pinned us back. We had a compact shape with how we played which is deliberate but we gave the ball away too cheaply for my liking.

"We have to pass the ball better than we did but we defended for our lives. From a technical point of view we didn't play well but in terms of heart and desire, the players gave everything. They made sure that this was firmly a contest."

Kenny acknowledged that despite the deficit, it's still very much all to play for in Dublin this evening.

"We're at 1-0. We're still very much in the game, we're at home and we must believe in ourselves. 

"We have to score and believe we can create chances. Even though we didn't' play so well from an attacking point of view we still created a great chance for Robbie Benson on the night. There is that realisation that we are capable of scoring goals. 

"They still conceded two goals in the second half recently against SJK Helsinki, so you can't dismiss anything."

The Premier Division champions face BATE for the second year in a row in the competition, so Stephen Kenny knows all about the quality of the team.

"BATE Borisov in the group stages five years in-a-row, they beat Roma, they drew with Bayern Munich, they played Barcelona. They regularly play at that tempo.

"They still conceded two goals in the second half recently against SJK Helsinki, so you can't dismiss anything."

The game will take place tonight at the home of Shamrock Rovers due to the fact that Oriel Park does not meet UEFA standards at this stage of the competition (the surface is artificial) and the Dundalk manager said that it is unfortunate they will not be able to play the match at home.

"It's unfortunate it's not in Dundalk. This is where the club is from, this is the birth right of the club and it should be in Dundalk but that's for another day.

"It's in Tallaght, people are travelling in their thousands and we're really grateful for that, we never take that for granted."

Anything other than a victory tonight by two clear goals will see Dundalk exit the competition, but will parachute into the Europa League play-off round.

The club are guaranteed to earn at least over €1m for reaching this point of the competition, factoring another €230,000 should they lose the Europa League play-off with defeat against BATE this evening.