Gypsies ready for Salzburg challenge

Gypsies ready for Salzburg challenge

Bohemians’ manager Pat Fenlon has plenty of European experience as player and manager but believes his current Bohemians side is the best he’s been in charge of.Bohemians familiarise themselves with the artificial pitch in Austria ...
15th Jul 2009

Their credentials are set for their biggest test yet tonight (Wednesday) when their Champions League adventure begins when they face Austrian giants Red Bull Salzburg.

The Austrian club, formerly managed by current Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni, will host the Gypsies at the Red Bull Arena (7.30pm Irish time).

Bohs have been in Austria since Monday and will undergo a training session at the stadium in order to get used to the artifical surface. The League of Ireland champions travel to Austria in good shape, although captain Owen Heary will miss the match through suspension.

Amazingly, this is just the second time and Irish club has been drawn against an Austrian club in European competition. Shamrock Rovers played Rapid Vienna in 1964-65, losing 5-0 on aggregate.

Fenlon is first to admit the task facing his side is a daunting one but says there is reason to be quietly optimistic.

He said: "We’re a good team, we have good players and plenty of experience, European experience and when you know you have two or three players who are technically very good - when you have that going into Europe - it’s a big plus.

"You’re trying to change from the way you play every week to a one-off game. You have to change a little bit of the mindset about how we’re going to play; and that’s the part we have to get right tonight.

"I believe they are the best group of players I have worked with and over time they have proven they have the right attitude to do it."

Gypsies’ defender Jason McGuinness is hoping the Gypsies can do what’s required in the first-leg to keep the tie alive for the return showdown at Dalymount Park.

"Red Bull are a very big club," he said. "They drew 0-0 with Bayern Munich last week so that tells you how big they are. But we will be prepared for them and hopefully we can go over and give a good account of ourselves.

"Being midseason will help. We have a lot of games under belt so that will definitely help. we will be confident, there is no point in going over there unless you are confident of putting good account of yourself."

With several hundred Bohemians supporters expected to make the trip to Austria, McGuinness is hoping the team can make it a memorable journey for the Bohs faithful.

"Fair play to the fans for making the trip," he said. "It’s not easy for fans in the current climate to make trips like this. Hopefully we can given them something to cheer about."