Belfast Telegraph

Understrength Glenavon can spring a surprise on Solskjaer's Molde: Tuffey


Level headed: Jonny Tuffey is realistic about the job in hand
Level headed: Jonny Tuffey is realistic about the job in hand

By Alex Mills

Goalkeeper Jonny Tuffey believes 'discipline' will be the buzz word in manager Gary Hamilton's team talk ahead of Glenavon's Europa League first round clash with Molde FK at Mourneview Park tonight.

The 31-year-old is sure to be in for a busy 90 minutes against a star-studded outfit, managed by former Manchester United favourite Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Although the Lurgan Blues will be deprived of ace goal predator Andy Mitchell, along with the versatile James Singleton and veteran midfielder Sammy Clingan - they are all on holiday - Tuffey insists that Hamilton's boys don't intend to become lambs to the slaughter.

"We are under no illusions how difficult it will be," said the former Northern Ireland shot stopper. "But you've seen it on many occasions, the underdog can sometimes spring a surprise or cause an upset. We'll be well organised and well disciplined, we'll give it our best shot, so hopefully it's good enough.

"It's a huge bonus being at home in the first leg. Although we don't know a lot about them, they don't know too much about us."

Even though Glenavon will be under-strength in both fixtures - Tuffey and Rhys Marshall will miss the return tie in Norway - the former Partick Thistle and Linfield man reckons the Lurgan Blues are well equipped.

Over the summer, Hamilton added six faces to his panel in the form of Niall Grace, Conor McCloskey, Stephen Donnelly, Dylan King, Gary Muir and Aarmon Harmon.

"We are missing a few lads for both legs, which is unfortunate," he added. "The dates of the European games have changed this year due to the World Cup being staged. It's the only time of the year that certain guys can get a bit of family time - they have other commitments and so on.

"But it's a squad game. The manager has completed some good business over the summer, bringing in six players that will make us stronger.

"Gary has a great knack of finding players that are the right fit for the club."

But it is going to take something special for the Irish League boys to negotiate both legs of what will be a massive task.

Glenavon vs Molde

Europa League 1st Qual Round, 1st Leg

Mourneview Park, Tonight, 7.45pm

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