TNS fire out a Euro warning

Head coach Anthony Limbrick has sent a note of warning to European regulars Viktoria Plzen ahead of tonight’s tussle – underestimate The New Saints at your peril.

The New Saints' Daniel Redmond celebrates scoring their side's first goal of the game during the UEFA Europa Conference League
The New Saints' Daniel Redmond celebrates scoring their side's first goal of the game during the UEFA Europa Conference League

Oswestry’s TNS go into tonight’s first leg of Europa Conference League third qualifying round against Czech heavyweights Plzen as underdogs.

But Aussie chief Limbrick, going into his first full season in charge at Park Hall, believes his players are more than up to the challenge of pushing their visitors – who are former Champions League group stage competitors – all the way in tonight’s tie at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Limbrick points to his side’s progression through two rounds so far, an impressive 3-1 aggregate win over Northern Ireland’s Glentoran and the stunning 10-1 aggregate hammering of Lithuania’s Zalgiris, as a sign TNS mean business.

“We don’t mind that (underdog) tag at all. If people are underestimating us, then great,” said a defiant Limbrick. “We know what we can do. I don’t think you can win 10-1 on aggregate if you aren’t playing well, on good form with good players doing the right things.

“But when you get out there the players want to win any game. We’ll be looking to win this game whether we’re underdogs, favourites, or not.

“We haven’t paid too much attention to that in the last two fixtures.”

The Saints travelled to the Welsh capital yesterday morning and trained at the home of Cardiff City later in the day, as Czech Liga outfit Viktoria flew into Cardiff Airport.

Plzen, managed by former Czech international midfielder Michal Bilek, are two games into their domestic campaign, having taking maximum points so far.

TNS chairman Mike Harris has made no secret of his ambition for the club to compete in the group stage of European competition. The third qualifying round sees the Saints two stages from the groups.

Progression in the inaugural competition has been lucrative to the Shropshire-based Cymru Premier side.

They have already pocketed 500,000 euros (£427,000) in prize money and beating Plzen is worth another 550,000 euros.

Limbrick said: “We know the better you do in Europe the better it is for the club financially.

“There are a lot of financial gains, so that we’d been able to get to this round is a real positive to the club.

“We want to get as much income as we can for the club because it can help us moving forward, developing areas we need to. We don’t put too much pressure because of it, we want to win anyway, but there’s no doubting the good financial gain if we get through.”

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