Irish Daily Mirror




victory over the Steelmen who could have no complaints about the emphatic outcome.

It was Sligo’s first time to advance through two rounds in Europe and John Russell’s men have now secured €850,000 in UEFA prize money.

But the Euro football body’s regulation­s demand a seated stadium of 4,300 for the next round which is approximat­ely 400 more than The Showground­s currently possesses.

Chairman Tommy Higgins will speak to UEFA this morning with Sligo seeking permission to install a temporary stand to bring their capacity up to UEFA requiremen­ts.

If UEFA is inflexible over the temporary stand then Sligo will probably have to switch the home leg to Tallaght Stadium although Limerick’s Thomond Park is an outside possibilit­y.

Sligo will travel to Norway next Thursday for the first leg with the club’s immediate concern to charter a plane to the city which will probably cost them in the region of €120,000.

Manager Russell was full of praise for his side that might have struggled to edge past Bala Town on penalties in the first round but has now developed into a team with a real feel for European competitio­n.

“I felt our discipline and shape was really good, similar to the away leg,” stated Russell (below). “We were under the cosh a bit in the first half, we didn’t keep the ball well enough but we started to pass better in the second half.

“We started to get the ball wide and create a couple of chances and it’s really pleasing, Motherwell changed their shape and tried to get balls in the box.

“We defended really well and to get the second goal late on was brilliant. It was a strange feeling for me in the second game against Bala.

“Everyone was celebratin­g in the dressing room afterwards and it was brilliant to get through but I was feeling low because I felt we under-performed. We have a style of play that we are working on and, when you have big crowds coming to games, you want to put on a show.

“We felt that we let ourselves down but we got through. In these games, I can’t fault the effort, the applicatio­n.”

Blaney almost scored against Bala two weeks ago but he found the mark with a fantastic set piece. “Shane practises it in training, free kicks, penalties and what a great moment for him to step up. It lifted the whole place,” added Russell. “It set us up for the rest of game and the way it finished with Max coming on and getting the goal. We’ve made history tonight, the first Sligo Rovers team to get to third round of European competitio­n so it’s a huge deal.”

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 ?? ?? SEALED IT Max Mata nets second
SEALED IT Max Mata nets second

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