Ruaidhri Higgins wants to put Derry City back on the European map with Conference League victory over KuPS
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The Candy Stripes have one foot in a third qualifying round in Europe for the first time since 2006 after their convincing 2-1 comeback victory over the Veikkausliiga league leaders on Foyleside last week.
Higgins played a major role in some of Derry's most historic European nights as a player, including Uefa Cup wins over Gothenburg and Gretna and a home draw against PSG 17 years ago, and now he's hoping his players can experience something similar.
It would be only the second time in the history of the club it has navigated past the second round in Europe and Higgins is confident his team has the capabilities to finish the job in Finland and bank a substantial £850,000 pot in the process.
"We're delighted to be going over there in front," said Higgins. "It was the objective. The game the other night would've been great for belief and confidence and we know we're capable of beating them. Whether that's at home or away, our mentality will be to go there and win the game.
"It would be absolutely amazing. They are a proper team, a really good team who are ranked 222 places above us. They have real experience in Europe but we know if we can replicate our performance in the Brandywell then we can go over there and get a special result.
"Experiencing it as a player is amazing. Hopefully our players can experience that now on Thursday. It would be absolutely massive for the group in terms of our confidence and momentum if we can go over there and make sure we're in the next round."
Of the three League of Ireland teams representing the country in Europe, Derry are best placed to fly the flag with Shamrock Rovers trailing Hungarians, Ferencváros 4-0 and Dundalk needing to overturn a two goal deficit against Icelandic club, KA Akureyri heading into their respective second leg ties on home soil.
Higgins' priority is ensuring Derry City remain in the competition after Thursday night and he's reminded supporters and players alike that their work is only 50 per cent completed.
"We just need to represent our club and our city and supporters as best as we can. If it helps the rest of the country then brilliant but our main priority is Derry City Football Club and trying to get us back on the map in terms of European football.
"We're going out there with a slender lead out to an outstanding team. The way I look at it is it's only 50 per cent of the job done and we have to go and try and complete that. It's brilliant that our supporters are optimistic and ambitious and we're the same but there's a lot of work to be done to make sure that happens."
Axel Vidjeskog gave the Finland outfit the lead from the penalty spot on the stroke of half-time last week but during a scintillating second half, goals from Will Patching and substitute Cian Kavanagh in a 10 minute spell turned the tie on its head.
It could've been a bigger margin in the end and Higgins hopes his team can replicate that first leg performance in Kuopio.
"If they come and be really aggressive in their approach against us then we can hurt them going the other way. So I think it will be interesting but I definitely think we have the capabilities and the profile of our players can really do damage over there as well.
"We also have a really good defensive record but we know we have players who can win matches in an instant. If we don't have to score, great! If we do have to score then we have the talent within our group to do that.
"When you get to this level of competition and play against players of their quality and experience, it's always a concern. I think we showed our capabilities of playing against them the other night, defensively as well. We didn't have loads of traffic in our box really at all bar one or two moments. And there's no reason to say we can't do that again. We want to go there and be positive and pick up another memorable result."
With five Finnish internationals within their ranks and the return of African defensive trio Ibrahim Cisse, Collins Sichenje and Clinton Antwi - all three first team regulars this season who failed to receive the necessary travel documentation to travel to Northern Ireland last week - KuPS promise to be a much tougher proposition.
Derry have conceded just once, from the penalty spot last week, in their opening three fixtures in Europe this year and Higgins knows his defensive unit must be at their best on Thursday night to withstand an expectant onslaught.
"Sometimes the opposition can put you on the backfoot. They moved the ball at speed which we know they can do. They dragged us about a wee bit but when we got a wee bit of belief we grew into the game and believed what we were trying to do. I felt for an hour or slightly more of the game we were the team in ascendancy and deserved the win."
"Our defensive record is really, really good and the players take pride in it. The structure of the team has been good and we defend from the front and everyone knows what's expected of them so it's been a real team effort in that sense.
"If we're going to go there and get a result then we know we need to be very good defensively as well."