Derry City will embark on their first European journey since 2012 when they jet off from the North West tomorrow towards Denmark as they prepare to take on FC Midtjylland in the Europa League first qualifying round. The draw could have been much kin
Derry City will embark on their first European journey since 2012 when they jet off from the North West tomorrow towards Denmark as they prepare to take on FC Midtjylland in the Europa League first qualifying round.
The draw could have been much kinder to The Candystripes, but already hundreds of fans have already started on their journey to the Jutland Peninsula in hope of a special European night in Herning.
However, The Foylesiders are already struggling before the game has even begun. Injury woes, including an ankle injury to Barry McNamee, has left manager Kenny Shiels with a headache and he already knows that his team face an uphill battle on Thursday evening at the MCH Arena.
“Obviously it’s going to be very difficult for us,” Shiels said. “We’re hampered quite a bit by the absence of Conor McDermott and Barry McNamee and Dean Jarvis is carrying a strain. So you’ve got all those huge issues to contend with then you’ve got the quality of the opponent,” he added.
“I don’t want to sound totally negative and dispirited because we’ve got to go in with a positive frame of mind, but they are obstructions, massive losses for us, and added to the fact we can’t bring in the new players,” Shiels said.
The Candystripes boss felt that the Irish transfer window should have been adjusted to give teams in Ireland the best possible chance of progressing to the next round of the Europa League.
Derry City signed Eoin Toal, Jamie McIntrye and Darren Cole to the squad several weeks ago, but will be without the trio until they are registered to play on July 1.
“I felt there should have been something done about the window period. In the League of Ireland, because the games are coming at this time, it’s quite unfair to ourselves and the rest of the League of Ireland clubs that are representing Ireland.
“It’s unfair on us that Midtjyjlland are signing away at players, they signed a goalkeeper this week, so they are signing away and being able to play players, and we can’t use the players that we’ve got,” he added.
It’s been well documented that the Danish outfit has recorded wins against both Manchester United and Southampton in European football in previous years, a feat Derry City could only dream of.
However, Kenny Shiels doesn’t believe the fact that his team are underdogs takes any pressure off his team before the fixture.
“You only create pressure if you’re afraid of something, we’re not afraid of anything. It’s just important that we remain in a positive frame of mind and go out with the attitude to get a result. We’ve got to get a result, that’s my ethos on it and I’m sure the players will be right up for this.
“If we can reproduce the intensity that we did on Friday night, then we go there with good anticipation."