St Patrick's Athletic defender Ian Bermingham believes the club can defeat Icelandic side IBV in the Europa League First Qualifying Round on Thursday eveningIn the 2011-12 Europa League, St. Patrick's Athletic began their European campaign with a 2-1 aggregate win over Icelandic side Íþróttabandalag Vestmannaeyja (IBV). This year, the Dublin club have been drawn against the same opponents in the First Qualifying Round. Only two members of the team that played in the fixture last year are still in the squad, and one of those, Ian Bermingham is confident that history can repeat itself for Pats.
Speaking to the club's official website, defender Bermingham recalled last year's tie. “I can remember being beaten 1-0 over there and it was tough enough to be fair,” Bermingham said. “But when we came back to Inchicore, the supporters were unbelievable as they really spurred us on to a great 2-1 win overall. It was really brilliant as the European games are great nights and ones that every player wants to play in.”
Bermingham believes that the 2012 Saints squad is better than last year's version and should be better able to defeat their Icelandic opposition. “I think our style of play will suit us in Europe," Bermingham revealed. "Off the ball, I think we work really hard to get possession back, we all really work as a unit. But when we have the ball, I think we’re very good and we’ll cause them a lot of problems. Last year we were in their faces and they didn’t like that, so I think we’ll be in their faces again this year and when we’re on the ball, hopefully, they won’t be able to live with us.”
However, Saints boss Liam Buckley is refusing to be carried away ahead of the continental tie. "IBV will be a different test, we know a little about them but not as much you’d like to know," Buckley conceded. "We’ve seen a few DVDs of them from recent games, and then of course last year’s game as well. They have five English players in there squad, and we think most of them will be involved tomorrow.”
“In the game last year, it was tight and wasn’t as comfortable as people have made out. They had a few chances to score the away goal in Inchicore which could have made the difference and swung the result in their favour, so they’re a decent side.”
St Pats will be without Chris Forrester for the home leg, as the midfielder has an ankle injury, while Mark Rossiter is a long-term absentee. Buckley revealed that John Russell should be fit to play, while the club are awaiting official clearance for new signing Anto Flood.