TNS’ director of football Craig Harrison says Swedish champions Helsingborgs will face a dilemma in how they approach the second leg of their Champions League Qualifier.
The New Saints chief was speaking after his side shared a 0-0 draw with the Swedes at Park Hall.
The Saints dominated the match against a surprisingly sluggish Helsingborgs side and Harrison says he remains confident of progression despite seeing his players squander a number of chances to take a first leg lead.
Harrison says the onus will be on Helsingborgs to attack but that the threat of an away goal could leave them in two minds.
He said: “It’s tricky for Helsingborgs though. It’s always tricky for the home team in the second leg because if we break away and score a goal it’s a totally different game.”
He added: “I think whoever we play against we will get chances because of the pace and quality we have.”
However, the Saints supremo warns his players will be under no illusions as to the task ahead.
He said: “It was a fantastic result in the first leg. To keep a clean sheet and just being in the tie alone would have been a good result but to be there and in with a shout for the next match is great. But we all know European football is totally different away from home and there won’t be any surprises.
“The job will be twice as hard and the players know that.”
Harrison saw his side create numerous opportunities in the first leg, with wide-men Craig and Chris Jones asking constant questions of the Helsingborgs defence and he warns that both could pose a similar threat away from home.
He said: “We all know what qualities Craig and Chris have and they were both fantastic in the first leg. They were both a constant threat to experienced internationals.”
Saints striker Greg Draper said the players are confident of progression and the lack of an away goal for Helsingborgs will have a massive bearing on the way the match is played.
He said: “We are in a great position, the pressure is all on them. We are full of confidence and if we can get an away goal then they have got to score two.”
Saints defender Steve Evans who produced an imperious display in the first leg says they have a fantastic opportunity to qualify for the next round.
He said: “It’s all to play for. We have given ourselves a great platform and if we can create one or two chances like we did in the first leg and put one away it’s anyone’s game.”
Harrison revealed that wideman Ryan Fraughan could come into contention for the second leg, as well as target man Mike Wilde.