McDonnell Believes Pats Can Cause Upset

  • Mon, Sep 15, 2008 @ 19:18

St Patrick's Athletic boss John McDonnell has urged his players to "make a name for themselves" as they prepare to take on Bundesliga outfit Hertha Berlin in the first leg of their UEFA Cup first-round clash.

The Eircom League of Ireland outfit eliminated Latvian side JFK Olimps Riga 3-0 over two legs in the first qualifying round of the competition before a famous 4-3 aggregate victory over a strong Swedish outfit in Elfsborg.

Victory over Hertha would see the Dublin side become the first Irish side to make it into the group stages of the competition and McDonnell is bristling with optimism ahead of the match.

'I watched Hertha Berlin two weeks ago against Bayern Munich and I have also seen them now in the Olympic Stadium against Wolfsburg,' McDonnell said.

'They are a good team with strong players which we are aware of, but so were the teams we faced in earlier rounds.

'Now we want to add Hertha to that list of teams and it is a chance for us to make a name for ourselves in European competition.'

Hertha's head coach Lucien Favre expects his side to progress to the group stages but is wary of the threat posed by the team from Inchicore.

He added: 'We should be okay. We want to reach the group phase, so we will have to eliminate St Patrick's.

'We will have to be careful though, because they have already knocked out the team placed second in the Swedish league.'

Pat's will be boosted by the inclusion of Mark Quigley - their hero from the match against Elfsborg - who was named eircom player of the month for August following his exploits in Europe.

Quigley was man of the match in the first leg in Sweden, converting from the penalty spot to instigate a comeback in a 2-2 draw for the Dubliners.

And he put the gloss on their aggregate success when he added the winner in stoppage-time to secure a 2-1 victory in the second leg at Richmond Park.

The 22-year-old striker took a knock against Sporting Fingal last Thursday but should be fit to play and admitted he is relishing the tie.

'It's my first time winning this and obviously I'm delighted to get it,' Quigley said.

'It's always good to get personal awards like that, but it also shows that the team have been doing well too.

'Obviously it was a good month for us and it was the European thing that really gave us the opportunity to shine.

'It was a great experience to pit your wits against good players and ones that you haven't played against before.

'They were good opposition, second in their league and hadn't been conceding many goals.

'To score two goals away from home was fantastic and then two more at Richmond to finish it off was better.

'Berlin is something to really look forward to. They'll have a team full of internationals and names and faces we'll know but we'll just have to go out there and try and surprise them. You never know what can happen in football.'

Boss McDonnell will have influential midfielder Keith Fahey back from a leg injury although he faces a decision over who to play at left-back with Stephen Paisley, Dave Rogers, and Dessie Byrne all just returning from injury.

Hertha coach Favre is expected to make few changes from the side which drew 2-2 against Wolfsburg, with on-loan Liverpool striker Andriy Voronin set to start in attack.

Next Fixture

Wexford FC / September 17th @ 7:45pm
Competition: FAI Cup
Venue: Richmond Park
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