St Pat's manager Jeff Kenna attended a press briefing this morning at Richmond Park ahead of Thursday's Europa League game against Kyrlia Sovetov and admitted his side face a huge challenge in overcoming the side from Easter Russia.
"No disrespect to Valletta but this Russian side is another step up in class.
"I watched a dvd of one of their recent league games, don't ask me who they were playing because it was all in Russian but they looked impressive.
"They have a number of players who are technically very good on the ball, they have a lot of pace on the wings and up front they have big Jan Koller.
"I think I played against him once or twice but thankfully I never had to mark him. Perhaps he is not as mobile as he once was but he still has incredible strength and he'll be a real handful for us.
"Overall they have the dangerous combination of pace and strength which will be difficult to handle."
Having lost last night to Sligo Jeff feels that the Saints are still capable of producing a big performance on Thursday night:
"The result last night was disappointing. Two or three players looked a bit leggy after the trip back (from Malta) but I am not going to use that as an excuse. Sligo were simply the better team on the night and deserved to win.
"Up and down results have been the nature of the season for us but I believe we can still put in a big performance on Thursday night.
"Everyone that travelled over to Malta is fit. Darragh Ryan is suspended for one game following his red card and both Gary Dempsey and Mark Leech are back in training so we‘ll be monitoring their progress.
"A one-nil win would be a great result for us but at a minimum we would hope to keep them to a clean-sheet and give ourselves a real chance for the second leg."
St Patrick's Athletic V Krylia Sovetov kicks off at 7.45pm on Thursday at Richmond Park. Tickets for the match are on sale at the club shop at Emmet Road and from Ticketmaster and a full house is expected on the night.
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