"Hopefully a big European night at the Brandywell is coming:" says Derry City boss Ruaidhri Higgins
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The former midfielder has been a part of some of Derry's best experiences in European football through the years including that unforgettable 2006 Uefa Cup journey which culminated in a 2-0 defeat to French giants PSG after holding them to a 0-0 draw at Brandywell.
Victories over Gothenborg and Gretna in the opening two qualifying rounds created lasting memories for all those connected with the club and Higgins is desperate to create more historic nights at the Lone Moor Road venue as manager of the Candy Stripes.
City welcome Faroe Islands outfit HB Torshavn to Brandywell on Thursday night (K.o. 7.45pm) for the first round, second leg tie following a stalemate in the Tórsvøllur Stadium.
Higgins is seeking to navigate the club through a round in Europe for the first time since 2014 but he knows the home attendance at a sold-out Brandywell can be a key weapon in their arsenal.
"That's what we crave at this club is European nights and trying to do something special and get through a round in Europe," said Higgins. "Our supporters will play an absolutely monumental role in us trying to get it over the line.
"It's really important that the place is bouncing on Thursday which I'm sure it will be and we try together. It won't be just the 11 on the pitch, it will be everyone in the ground that has to play a part in trying to get us into the next round."
An estimated 100 Derry fans travelled to the remote Faroe Islands to watch the first leg and made their presence felt. HB Torshavn manager Jákub Martin Joensen is anticipating a raucous atmosphere at the venue.
"It will be exciting to come to Derry to their stadium. They had a few supporters here and they were very loud so I can imagine there will be more supporters there cheering on their team and it will be even louder."
And Higgins reckons that atmosphere will no doubt work in his team's favour.
"Our crowd has a crucial role to play and I don't think there is a ground like the Brandywell when it's hopping and bouncing and making loads of noise. I'm sure our supporters will be up for it on Thursday. We haven't gone through a round in Europe in nine years so let's try and put that to bed and get ourselves through.
"We're just glad we're at home, playing in front of our own supporters. Hopefully a big European night at the Brandywell is coming. That's what our supporters want, that's what the players want. That's what everyone connected with Derry City Football Club wants. We all need to be together to achieve that."
Derry rode their luck in the opening 20 minutes in the Faroes as they got to grips with the contest but they will view the match as an opportunity missed given how they finished in the ascendancy with substitutes Ciaran Coll and Jamie McGonigle coming close in the latter stages.
Following a week of reflection and analysis, Higgins knows exactly what his team must do to progress to a second round tie against Finnish Veikkausliiga side KuPS.
"Obviously you dissect the game, break it down. Probably the first 20 or 25 minutes they without doubt had the upper hand. From 25 or 30 minutes onwards I felt we were the team on the ascendancy and created the most opportunities.
"I know they had a good chance in the second half but we got into good areas, created good chances and played a lot of the game in their half so we want to try and put that into practice right from the off on Thursday night.
"You take a lot of encouragement from how we finished the game. They've won their last three European games at home before last week so we obviously didn't take them lightly. They came out and played.
"I think they're a good team technically and tactically so nothing really surprised us. What it did show was that when we played at the level we know we can play, we can hurt them as well. It's just really important to bring that last hour of the game from the start.
"It was important that we came home with a result which we got but it's only worth anything if you go and put the tie away and that's what we'll try and do. We'll try to win the game and play on the front foot. Sometimes the quality of the opposition or your own performance doesn't allow you to do that at times but that will be our intention."
Adam O'Reilly sits out the final match of his suspension in European competition on Thursday night and Higgins will have the same squad of players from the first leg available to him for the return tie.
"Patrick (McEleney) has an ongoing issue that we're well aware of and we have to manage him. It's a delicate injury that we're managing well at the minute and it's important we continue to manage it.
"Everyone else is okay We're in a good place and it will be the same squad as last week,” he concluded.