Duffy Ready For Slovan Challenge
Dundalk FC are in Bratislava ahead of their UEFA Europa League third round qualifying first leg with SK Slovan Bratislava.
The Lilywhites travelled on Monday afternoon to the Slovakian capital in good spirits ahead of the game.
As we settled down into the hotel on Monday night, Michael Duffy reflected on what was a ‘tough’ night against Qarabag last Wednesday however, is looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead in the UEFA Europa League.
“Preparation has been good for us. Everything has been very positive since last week. We had to forget about Qarabag, it was a tough night for us but they are a brilliant team.
“They have been in the group stages of both the Champions League and the Europa League the past few years, it shows their quality and it was disappointing to lose but we have a chance to progress here.
“We have a big game against Slovan Bratislava now and they are going to be a good side too but we have a chance to get to the UEFA Europa League playoff which is where we all want to be.
“We are all looking forward to that and that is where our focus is.”
The Lilywhites have transferred to the Europa League out of the UEFA Champions League after being defeated by Azerbaijan champions Qarabag.
Slovan Bratislava lie in wait in the stunning new stadium Tehelne Pole in the centre of the city with Dundalk seeded for this round.
That matters for little in these ties with both sides of similar quality, something which Duffy knows all about and believes that Vinny Perth’s men will be more clinical in the clash.
“The thing about playing in games like this is that you are only going to get a few chances and you have to take them when they come.
“It’s all about experience and we have to take the chances when they come. That is what we are learning all the time so we are looking forward to the next challenge.”
It is the Slovakian champions ahead and it will be the first time that Dundalk have faced opposition from this part of Europe.
Slovan sit top of the Slovakian Premier League after three games and had a 3-0 win over Senica at the weekend.
Derry man Duffy understands how difficult the game may be for him and his team mates however he is going into the first leg in confident mood and is looking for a result to take back home next week for the return encounter.
“We have another tough game against Slovan Bratislava this week. We have done a lot of work on them so far and you can see their quality already.
“They are an attacking team so we know what we are up against. They are at home too but we are a good side too and it’s going to be tough for them.
“We will be ready for them, we are looking forward to the game and hopefully we can get the result that we want.”