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Cliftonville will bare teeth and go on the attack, vows boss Gray

By Steven Beacom

Cliftonville manager Barry Gray has admitted his side will have to 'open up' in attack to overcome Nordsjaelland in Denmark tonight and progress in the Europa League.

In a tight encounter last week, the Danish outfit won 1-0 in the first leg of the first round qualifying tie at Solitude - a scoreline Gray says means his side are still very much in the contest.

"We were fairly happy and kept it tight enough and, bar a mistake which caused their goal, we limited them to a couple of half chances," said Gray, who in his first season in charge of the Reds guided them to an Irish Cup final and Europa League play-off success.

"We were disappointed not to come away with the draw but it keeps it alive. Had they won by more than 1-0 it would have been over. Now we can go out with a winner takes all attitude.

"In the first leg you always have an eye on the second in order to stay in touch. We couldn't have gone hell for leather but this time around we will have to open up a little bit and try to take our chances.

"You have to aspire to get into the next round. We took it seriously in the first leg and we certainly won't be taking the approach that we are going to Denmark on a break.

"There will be very little down time for us when we are away. This is about trying to win a European tie and also prep for the domestic season ahead.

"It's brilliant to have Europe at this time of the year because I detest friendlies. You do need them, but having competitive fixtures is so much better."

After missing the first leg, the Reds will be boosted by Jay Donnelly's return, while in terms of new signings Gray is under no pressure to add to the arrivals of Conor McMenamin, Ryan Curran and Damien McNulty.

"We were fortunate enough to get some business done early on but the player pool out there is a little dry right now," said Gray.

"We are talking to a couple and we will see what happens but I'm not a manager for signing players for the sake of it. I'm under no pressure to do that."

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