“With a vocal Bohs support behind us, this will be a different proposition for Midtjylland”

Bohs huddle in Denmark - Johnny Bohan

FC Midtjylland 2 Bohemians U19s 1

Craig Sexton has backed his Bohemians U19s to get the job done in the Uefa Youth League at Dalymount Park in three weeks’ time.

A nervy opening half at Arena Herning from the young Gypsies saw Midtjylland dominate much of the early proceedings.

Bohs defended well under pressure for the most part but fell behind on 27 minutes with Oliver Sørensen Jensen firing home.

A much-improved performance from Bohs in the second half saw them really put it up to the home side.

Alas, Midtjylland doubled their advantage against the run of play on 75 minutes with Casper Tengstedt heading past Seán Bohan.

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But this bolshy Bohs side weren’t going to go down without a fight – they dusted themselves down and claimed a vital away goal two minutes later with Steven Nolan pouncing on a rebound to find the net.

Manager Sexton said: “We didn’t pass it well in the first half and I told them at half-time we have to be better than that.

“They set standards for themselves this season and probably didn’t meet them in the first half.

“But they’re young boys. It’s a big stadium and they were probably a little over-awed at the start. That’s understandable.

“We fixed a few problems at the break and were much better in the second half.

“We were on top when they scored their second goal and that is disappointing too as they scored from a set piece and we pride ourselves on our defending of set-pieces.

“That could have knocked the stuffing out of us but we got straight back at it. We went out and played ourselves straight back into the game.

“We got the away goal and that is huge. To have an away goal to take back to Dalymount is very important.

“I applauded them after the game. It’s very positive. We need to be better for 90 minutes if they want to progress but they know that themselves.”

Sexton believes a big home support at Dalymount on Wednesday October 24 (kick-off 7pm) can spur his side on to victory.

He said: “The lads don’t think they are a million miles away considering the opposition train six days a week and are a full-time set-up.

“But we feel we’ve shown in the second half that we can have a go at them now at Dalymount and let’s see where that takes us.

“I’d be hoping we’d have a big Bohs support behind us for the return leg. We know how Bohs fans get behind us for everything.

“With a vocal Bohs support behind us, this will be a different proposition for Midtjylland.

“Fans see what goes on with the underage set-up with players coming through and progressing so I believe they will get behind us in big numbers.”

Goalscorer Nolan believes the team were never go give up despite falling two goals behind.

He said: “We said before the game that if we went a goal down or even two that it wasn’t the end of the world.

“We know we have the ability to fight back. We have done before in big games, so we kept our heads.

“There was maybe a mix of nerves at the start. It’s a big occasion for us and in a big stadium. It’s something we’re not used to. But we defended well when they were on top early on.

“We stuck at it and created a lot of chances ourselves. We fought back and got the away goal which is crucial.

“We’re confident for the second leg after how we played in the second half. We only need the one goal.

“It’s been a great experience for us so far and we want to continue that. We’ve enjoyed every minute of it and want to keep it going and progress in three weeks’ time.”

Sexton also paid particular tribute to his backroom staff for their efforts, adding: “Ian Morris has been unbelievable. The week that he’s had with his own stuff as a first-team player and as Youth Development Officer, it probably goes unnoticed the contribrution he also makes to this U19s team. He’s been absolutely fantastic.

“Paul Flynn our goalkeeping coach, John our fitness coach, Orla Doolin our physio, Colly O’Connor our kitman and Johnny Bohan on video… the support myself and the players have had from all the staff has been exceptional and I can’t thank them all enough.”

 

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