Shamrock Rovers defender Roberto Lopes was fully aware of the threat that their Europa League opponents Starjnan posed last week.
The Hoops bagged an away goal in Iceland courtesy of Gary Shaw before the return fixture in Tallaght Stadium where Graham Burke ensured another 1-0 win.
Lopes feels that the quick start his side showed was vital last Thursday evening.
“We knew we had to start fast coming into the game, they were going to have a go, they had nothing to lose.
“I thought we started well and dictated the play well and we started at a tempo that we knew we could go another gear more than them.”
Next up for Rovers in Europe is Czech side Mladá Boleslav on July 13th in the second qualifying round with the first leg being in Tallaght this time.
Keeping out the away goals is crucial next week for Lopes and he admits that there were nerves aplenty knowing that Starjnan came to Tallaght knowing they had to score.
“There was a bit of nerves there, with the away goal, they’re straight back into it. That’s what kind of motivated us to keep us together and keep a unit and we knew we had players that could score.”
An issue for boss Stephen Bradley and his players in the early rounds of the Europa League is the fact that they haven’t seen many of their opponents in action. Lopes is grateful for modern football adopting video analysis.
“The video analysis is actually massive. We didn’t know much about them and it’s something different to what we are playing week in, week out in our league.”
Looking ahead, Mladá Boleslav is the next competitive game for the Hoops but for now, Lopes’s only thoughts are “about recovery and getting the bodies ready for training.”