Scott Young has warned his Glentoran players that tomorrow night’s Europa League second leg meeting with Renova of Macedonia will be tougher than the first — even though the east Belfast men will have home advantage.
While fans are optimistic that the away goal scored by Colin Nixon in last week’s 2-1 defeat in Skopje can help them progress to the next round, Young is wary of expectations being raised, having seen a similar situation come to nothing a decade ago.
The fact that the Glens played for 75 minutes with just 10 men a week ago after Jamie McGovern was sent-off — before finishing with just nine players when goalkeeper Elliott Morris joined him — has raised hopes that the 1-0 victory that is required can be achieved with a full compliment of 11 players.
“It’s going to be a very difficult game,” said Young.
“If people think because we got the away goal and we need a scoreline like 1-0 to progress that it’s just going to happen — it’s not going to happen.
“They took a bit of stick from their own press because they are a full-time outfit and they thought playing against us that they would get a comfortable victory.
“They got a hell of a shock, but in this leg there is no surprise element for them. They know exactly who they are playing and what they are going to be up against.
“We have to be confident and we have to stamp our authority on the game.”
The Glens last won a European tie seven years ago, but victory at the Oval hasn’t been achieved in 25 years, when Fram of Iceland were beaten 1-0 but progressed on aggregate.
A 2001 tie is much fresher in Young’s mind and he can recall the heartache.
“I remember drawing 1-1 with Midtjylland in Denmark.
“There was a full house at the Oval for the second leg and we were very confident, but we ended up with egg on our faces,” Young said.