Cefn Druids and Bala Town competed in the first leg of the UEFA Europa League Preliminary Round last week with mixed fortunes.
Druids secured a fantastic draw at home against tough opposition and Bala Town suffered a defeat in San Marino, both managers are looking to do what they describe as ‘upsetting the odds’ in Thursday’s (5 July) second-leg clashes by making it through to the next round.
Having flown out to Lithuania on Tuesday ahead of their game against Trakai, Druids boss Huw Griffiths noted how his side spoke of the mindset of his team going into the second leg.
“A lot of the boys were humbled very quickly because after securing such a fantastic result in the first leg they were back in work on Friday morning. 15 out of the 20 in the squad had worked in the morning of the game, so it comes and goes so quickly.
“We will put the same performance in on Thursday again, because this group of players won’t allow anything less.
“The opposition are going to have to be at their ultimate best to beat us – if they don’t do that, we’ll cause some problems, because I’ve got no qualms that my lads will perform on the day.”
Competing against a side that regularly reaches the latter qualifying stages of this competition, Druids have a significant task ahead of them if they are to advance to the next round. However, the manager feels his side has what it takes to make that next step.
“I’ve got no doubts at all about my players performing, I know they will reach the same level as they did last Thursday at the very least.
“They’ve performed against the odds week in, week out, for so long… why can’t we upset the odds one last time in a one-off game away from home? Why can’t we dream?
“We’ll be giving our utmost to represent our great league to the very best of our ability.”
We’re perfectly capable of turning this around and we’ll do everything we can to get the goals we need to go through.
For Bala Town’s Colin Caton, a 3-0 defeat out in San Marino was a blow to the Lakesiders, who are also looking to progress through a round of the competition for the first time in their history.
Competing at Rhyl’s Belle Vue Stadium on Thursday, Caton is hopeful that his side can upset the odds once more.
“It is hard to stomach defensive mistakes like the ones we made last week but we’re perfectly capable of turning this around and we’ll do everything we can to get the goals we need to go through.
“We’ve always been up against the odds as a football club, we’ve never made things easy for ourselves ever since I’ve been here. We’ve always done things the hard way.
“If we could turn this around then it would be incredible because of the situation we find ourselves in. Everyone is optimistic and full of belief. We’ve got a great chance and a great desire to put things right.”