Linfield play down 'favourites' tag

Linfield play down 'favourites' tag

Linfield are preparing for their Europa League qualifying round second leg tie with FC Xanthi at Windsor Park on Thursday night.

David Jeffrey's side won 1-0 in Greece in the first leg to give themselves a great chance of qualifying.

Linfield's Michael Gault told UTV last week's showing was a great performance.

"It wasn't too warm out there when we went over," he said.

"We've had great weather back here and the lads have trained hard in it. Hopefully on Thursday night it'll be something the same and we can put in a good performance."

Gault was quick to dismiss the notion that Linfield are now big favourites to qualify.

We have a gameplan and if we stick to it you never know what could happen

Michael Gault

"They're top quality so the gulf in class between the two leagues is there to see," he added.

"Obviously you don't look too far ahead and it's Standard Liege but we've got a massive task on Thursday night to hold a fantastic team at bay. If we do we can look forward to Standard Liege".

Meanwhile, Derry City are chasing a 4-2 first leg deficit as Turkish side Trabzonspor visit the Brandywell in their Europa League qualifier. The Candystripes are hopeful striker Rory Patterson shakes off a back injury in time for the game.

The winners will face Dinamo Minsk of Belarus or Croatian outfit Lokomotiva Zagreb in the third qualifying round.

David McDaid and Paddy Kavanagh scored for Declan Devine's team in the first leg.

And St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright has told his players they have to believe they are good enough to march on in the Europa League.

The Northern Irishman claims the power of positive thinking could swing the tie in his side's favour, as the Perth side host Norwegian league leaders Rosenborg at McDiarmid Park hoping to protect their cherished 1-0 lead from the first leg of the second qualifying round.

"We're not asking them to do something that they are not capable of," said Wright.

"It doesn't matter who you are playing, if you don't have any belief in what you are doing, in your team-mates beside you and in your own ability, then you are beaten before you go out."


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