Buoyed by Linfield FC's goalless first-leg draw in Belfast against UEFA Champions League second qualifying round opponents Rosenborg BK, striker Peter Thompson feels the Northern Irish double winners are "still in with a chance" on Norwegian soil.
"We didn't concede an away goal which is very important, but the result leaves the tie probably slightly in their favour with them playing the second game at home," said the 26-year-old ahead of the return on Wednesday. "But
we're definitely not out of it. If we can produce another performance like the first leg and get a little bit of luck you never know what might happen."
And how does the striker, deployed at the head of manager David Jeffrey's 4-2-3-1 system in the first instalment of the tie, feel the match in Trondheim will pan out? "We're going to have to take every chance that comes our way because we're not going to be able to create much against them," said 'Pistol Pete', who fired an impressive 48 goals in 58 games during Linfield's 2005/06 double-winning campaign.
"We need to keep things tight, try and frustrate them and their fans and maybe nick something on the break or from a set piece," added Thompson, whose boss is in equally cautious mood. "I'm fearful but hopeful," said Jeffrey. "Their manager [Nils Arne Eggen] wasn't very happy [after the first leg] and I think the element of surprise has gone.
"They rely very much on qualifying for the group stages of European competition, so they'll be trying to make absolutely sure they don't miss out again this year," continued Jeffrey, at the Linfield helm since 1997, alluding to the Norwegian league leaders' elimination by Azerbaijan's FK Qarabağ in the second qualifying round of last season's UEFA Europa League.
"A lot of times when Irish players play in Europe they perceive there to be such a difference [in class] that they end up making uncharacteristic errors," continued Jeffrey. "But
I'll be telling my lads not to think about the opposition, to just concentrate on the fact that our preparation has been thorough, that we've worked hard on our shape and our system, and on going out there and being confident in what we've done."
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