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Coleraine need a ‘monster performance’ to shock Velez in Europa Conference League, says Rodney Brown


Rodney Brown

Rodney Brown

Rodney Brown

Rodney Brown says Coleraine will not go out and chase the game early doors in the second leg of their Europa Conference League tie against Velez Mostar on Thursday night.

Oran Kearney’s men suffered a 2-1 defeat to the Bosnians in the first meeting but put in a spirited performance to give themselves a chance of progressing through to the second round.

Brown — who recently returned to the club following a spell with Crusaders — admits he was surprised by how much quality Mostar have in their ranks but knows it took two penalties for them to break through the Bannsiders rearguard in Sarajevo.

“We didn’t know too much about them other than a few clips but they are a very good side,” he said.

“They passed the ball well but I thought we kept our shape and didn’t concede from open play considering it was the hottest conditions a few of us have ever played in.

“Having looked back at the highlights, I thought the first penalty given against us was extremely harsh as I don’t know what Aaron Traynor could have done.

“I feared the worst after the second penalty as we had 25 minutes remaining with 10 men but we dug in well”

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Due to pitch redevelopment at The Showgrounds, the second leg will be played at Mourneview Park and Brown highlighted the importance of keeping the contest alive.

“Our mindset before we travelled to Bosnia was to make sure we stayed in the tie and we have done that,” he added.

“It will be a different game back home as we are used to our surroundings and Coleraine have a pretty good record at Mourneview Park recently.

“We know we have to score but it’s not a case of going gung-ho in the first 20 minutes.

“The game doesn’t change as we have 90 minutes to score goals but we know we need a bit of luck and a monster performance as they are a top side.”

Some 5000 fans attended the first leg in the Bosnian capital and Brown acknowledged that it made for the perfect background to a second debut for Coleraine.

“I am absolutely delighted to be back and it was great to start things with a trip away,” he concluded.

“The atmosphere before and after the game was incredible and fair play to their fans as it made for a tremendous occasion.

“Those are the games you want to be involved in.”

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