'There's a tough task ahead of us' - Drogheda United manager Mick Cooke

The Drogs were drawn against Swedish side Malmo FF in the first qualifying round of the Europa League and Cooke believes that it will not be an easy tie
Drogheda United manager Mick Cooke has admitted that his side face a "tough task" after being drawn against Swedish side Malmo FF in the first qualifying round of the Uefa Europa League.

Shortly after the draw, it was confirmed that the Drogs would play their home game at Tallaght Stadium on July 4, before facing the Swedish giants at the Swedbank Stadion on July 11. Manager Mick Cooke revealed that he was "very pleased" with the draw, but warned that Malmo present a difficult task for his team.

"There's a tough task ahead of us", he said. "Malmo are doing okay in the league at the moment and they're in their season as well, so it won't be a matter of getting a team that hasn't been playing regularly.

"We'll certainly look forward to it, we'll be well prepared and between now and then we'll do as much homework on them as we can. Either myself or Robbie Horgan will go and watch them this weekend."

He added: "We'll look forward to it and financially I don't think it will too much of a hardship on the club. So, all in all, I'm very pleased with the draw."

Should Drogheda United navigate their way past Malmo, they face the prospect of a second qualifying round tie against Scottish Premier League side Hibernian, who are currently managed by former Bohemians manager Pat Fenlon. 

Drogheda chairman Jim Agnew said that the draw was a "great" one and suggested that both away venues would be easy to reach for travelling supporters.

"From a footballing perspective it's a great tie", said Agnew. "Malmo are a top team, they play in a fantastic new stadium - they tell me that their average home attendance is something like 15,000 - so it's a great occasion.

"It's great to get them in our place first and have a chance to have a crack at them. Then, we'll go over there and have a great night."

He continued: "It's a great draw. And should we get through that the Hibernian game is another great prospect. Both of them are easy for supporters to get to and are relatively straight-forward [logistically].

Potentially, two top sides, two very interesting fixtures and from a club perspective we couldn't really ask for more," he concluded.