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Shiels not giving up hope of Derry staging a stirring revival in Minsk

 

By Eoin Wilson

Upwards of €200,000 (£178,000) awaits Derry City if they can upset the odds in Minsk today in the Europa League first qualifying round.

The Candystripes trail 2-0 from the first leg at the Brandywell last week, and will need to produce a huge upset if they are to continue their Euro journey.

Manager Kenny Shiels, knowing his players have nothing to lose, has promised more adventure.

He said: "They will probably be expecting to go through. It's going to be very difficult because Dinamo will be strong favourites and our young players will have to step up a little bit more and try to match their performance.

"We need to be more competitive but Dinamo will want to get that next goal to kill the tie and that will be the driving force for them. We have to make sure that doesn't happen and put them under pressure. We won't give up."

The Derry players trained yesterday at the Dinamo Stadium. Several thousand fans are expected to attend, but Shiels is remaining focused on his own players.

"When you are playing away in Europe you have to feel your way into it," he added. "Dinamo came and they got impetus straight away as we never touched the ball. It was unfortunate because all the preparation we had was taken away from us. They put us under pressure and getting an early goal helped.

"We'll be going with that purpose to try and get ourselves back in the tie and keep a clean sheet as best as we can."

Rory Hale, who suffered a blow to his face in the build-up to Dinamo's opening goal last week, is set to return, but Nicky Low remains sidelined.

The onus will be on Minsk to kill the tie off but Shiels is determined that his players play to the best of their ability.

"Hopefully we can surprise them," he stated. "We had half opportunities but didn't really put a glove on them in terms of the last third, and although we had a few half chances we can do better. But it's a tough opponent and I thought the boys gave a really good account of themselves."

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