FC MIDTJYLLAND boss, Jess Thorup has warned his side won’t take their foot off the gas as he looks forward to Thursday’s Europa League first round second leg tie against Derry City at The Showgrounds in Sligo (K.o. 7.45p.m.).
The slick Danish outfit racked up an emphatic 6-1 scoreline against an injury-hit City side in Herning last Thursday night with a ruthless exhibition of attacking football which all but ended Kenny Shiels’ side’s hopes of progressing.
Thorup is desperate to lead his talented team into the Europa League group stages this season and, despite holding an insurmountable advantage, he insists there’s no room for complacency.
“We played very, very good offensively, created a lot of chances and scored six goals, so of course I’m very happy and satisfied with our game,” said the Midtjylland manager.
“I’m very pleased with the way the guys have come back as this was our first competitive game. And the game on Thursday is still a pretty important game for us as it’s game number two before we hopefully get through to the next round where we will likely play against Ferencvaros.
“We will try to win every game we play. I can’t say I won’t make any changes to the team but it’s still pre-season and I have some new guys in the squad who I’d like to see.
“You won’t see a new team on the pitch, it’ll be a lot of the same guys who played the last game. It will be important for our preparation.”
It was a disastrous start for the Candy Stripes who conceded twice in the opening 14 minutes from set-pieces and Thorup admits his side, who boast the threat of 6ft 7’’ striker, Paul Onuachu, had foreseen ‘possibilities’ against City’s defence.
“Set-pieces are a thing we practise a lot and we’re very good at it. In international games set-pieces can always be a way to open the game.
“We scored our first two goals from set-pieces and that’s probably why it became a bit a easier than expected.
They have some young guys who did good jobs. Definitely their No. 9, the winger, Curtis who was playing pretty good. And the young guy Holden at No. 14. They both played very wellJess Thorup
“We have looked at not only how tall Derry are but we knew we would have some possibilities at set-pieces because of the way they defend them. So we could see we definitely had possibilities there. Scoring two goals was something else.”
The former Denmark U21 coach insists he was impressed with both Ronan Curtis and Rory Holden from the first leg tie and expects Derry to put up a fight in the second leg.
“I think during the game I could see they have a pretty good game and when they got the time on the ball they played very well. They have some young guys who did good jobs. Definitely their No. 9, the winger, Curtis who was playing pretty good. And the young guy Holden at No. 14. They both played very well.
“Derry had a shot which hit the bar and in the end they scored even though it was a mistake from my defender. I can understand why they would be disappointed not to get a penalty too. But I’m looking forward to the next game. There’s something special about coming to new places to play and meet the fans and see some new cities and stadiums and the culture regarding the way they play football. So we look forward to our trip to Ireland.”