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    Stjarnan 3 – 2 Motherwell (AET)

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    McCall previews Stjarnan clash

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    Stjarnan ticket information: 2nd Leg

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    Europa League 3rd Round draw

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    Highlights from Fir Park

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    Starnan draw in pictures

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    McCall upbeat despite late goal

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    Motherwell 2 – 2 Stjarnan

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    Ticket Office open to kick-off

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    Ramsden urges patient approach

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    Stjarnan 3 – 2 Motherwell (AET)

    [tab:Match report]

    Motherwell crashed out the Europa League with a late Extra time sickener in Stjarnan.

    The Steelmen, who led 2-0 at Fir Park before being pegged back in injury-time, again got an early goal when Steven Hammell scored a rare header but Keith Lasley gave away his third penalty of the tie and Olafur Finsen levelled in the 37th minute.

    Lionel Ainsworth volleyed Motherwell ahead midway through the second half, but Rolf Toft took the game into extra-time with an impressive strike five minutes from time and Atli Johansson scored a spectacular winner in the second period of extra-time to secure a 5-4 aggregate win.

    Motherwell forced a succession of early corners on the artificial surface and the pressure paid off in the 12th minute when Hammell powered a header into the top corner from Ainsworth’s delivery.

    Lasley came close from another corner when he fired just wide and Motherwell were looking comfortable but Hammell had to throw himself in front of Toft’s shot to maintain the away lead.

    And Lasley was soon on the end of a controversial decision by Greek referee Antonis Giachos, who ruled he had brought down Johansson in the box, although the award might easily have gone in Motherwell’s favour after the Stjarnan player brushed into the midfielder’s body and fell over.

    Finsen, just as he did twice at Fir Park, converted the penalty.

    Lasley was determined to atone and almost did so on the stroke of half-time with a volley that was well-stopped by Ingvar Jonsson.

    Motherwell almost fell behind early in the second half but Dan Twardzik came off his line quickly to foil Toft.

    But Stuart McCall’s side came roaring back and Lasley came close again following another corner when his shot was deflected over.

    Craig Reid’s cross was then deflected on to the post and Ainsworth’s delivery was just turned wide as the hosts continued to live dangerously.

    Stjarnan broke and Pablo Punyed shot wide just before Ainsworth put Motherwell ahead for the third time in the tie.

    Josh Law, who scored twice in the first 19 minutes at Fir Park, sent in a delightful ball and Ainsworth volleyed home from close range.

    Motherwell almost squandered their lead again when Hordur Arnason got in behind Reid but he made a hash of his finish.

    McCall, knowing his men would at least get to extra-time unless Stjarnan scored twice, brought on Fraser Kerr and Zaine Francis-Angol for Ainsworth and Law in the 74th minute for fresh legs and more defensive strength.

    But there was another twist when Toft levelled with five minutes left as he shot into the top corner from the edge of the box.

    Motherwell lost Stuart Carswell to injury early in extra-time as Jack Leitch came on and Jonsson made a great double stop from Lasley and Sutton, but the hosts then missed two good chances.

    And Stjarnan, who are unbeaten in the league after 12 matches, won it with seven minutes left when Johansson fired a long-range volley in off the bar to set up a tie with Lech Poznan.

    [tab:As it happened]

     Alastair Reilly at Samsung Vollurinn

    FT: Stjarnan 3 – 2 Motherwell

    31mins: Reid booked as Stjarnan run down the clock

    30mins: 3 minutes added on…

    26mins: Corner to ‘Well, Sutton heads just past but ref has ruled he had fouled Praest.

    22mins: GOAL! Stjarnan make it 3 – 2

    18mins: Sutton wins a corner… Jonsson punches clear and gets injured in the process.

    Half time in extra time: Stjarnan 2 – 2 Motherwell

    14mins: Stjarnan sub, Bjorgvinsson off for Otteson Palsson

    13mins: Lasley booked for a foul on Arnasson in the Stjarnan box….

    12mins: Ball just doesn’t quite drop for Sutton inside the box and Jonsson gathers at his feet

    8mins: Lasley then Sutton denied superbly by Jonsson!

    4mins: Motherwel sub: Carswell limps off. Took a knock from the corner. He desperately wants to come back on but McCall opts for Jack Leitch

    2mins: ‘Well get a corner but Jonsson is there to pluck the ball out the air

    First half of extra time underway….

    FT: Stjarnan 2 – 2 Motherwell. An extra 30 minutes looms…

    2 minutes added on…

    Picked the ball up on the edge of the box, and lashed it into the top corner.

    Heading for extra time here,,,,

    85mins: GOAL! Toft pulls Stjarnan level!

    80mins: Into the final 10….still 2 – 1 to ‘Well

    74mins: Motherwell subs….Kerr and FranCis-Angol on for Law and Ainsworth

    70mins: Toft leaves a boot in on Twardzik and his booked.

    69mins: Bit of a let off there as Arnason got in behind Reid. From a narrow angle, he sliced his shot well wide.

    66mins: AINSWORTH volleys home from close range from Law’s lovely ball in!!!


    64mins: Punyed races on goal, Twardzik does enough to put him off and he drags his shot just wide.

    62mins: Ainsworth’s low cross to Sutton is only just cleared for a corner by Praest! Great spell for ‘Well,

    60mins: Yet another Motherwell corner. Can’t make it count as Vemmelund heads clear

    58mins: Reid’s low cross is deflected and hits the post!

    55mins: Sutton forces a corner for ‘Well…Lasley’s shot is almost defelcted over Jonsson!

    52mins: Great save from Twardzik, sliding out to the feet of Toft to deny a certain goal!

    Second half underway….

    HT: Stjarnan 1 – 1 Motherwell

    45mins: What as save from Jonsson to deny Lasley’s right footed volley!

    On initial viewing looked like Toft was behind Lasley and kicked his leg and fell over. WIll need to see again.

    43mins: Carswell booked for dissent.

    37mins: GOAL – Finsen converts.

    36mins: Stjarnan have a penalty!!

    33mins: Great defending from Hammell as he throws himself in front of Toft’s

    goalbound shot.

    29mins: Stjarnan get a corner when it was clearly a foul on Hammell. Comes to no harm anyway.

    26mins: Early Stjarnan sub, Toft on for Gunnarsson

    25mins: Ainsworth cuts in on his left foot but his shot from distance lack power. Easy save.

    24mins: McManus booked for a rash tackle on Punyed.

    22mins: Lasley drills a shot just wide of the post from a corner routine. Unlucky!

    20mins: Great diagonal ball from Ainsworth searching for Sutton. The big man would have been in but for Rauschenberg’s header

    17mins: Corner to Stjarnan…….headed clear by Carswell

    13mins: Yet another corner, falls to Hammell again but he opts to clip it back into the box, ‘keeper gathers.

    11mins: What a goal that was! A superb header from 12yards into the top corner! 0-1


    10mins: Reid forces another corner…..GGOOOAAALLLLL!!!

    8mins: Decent ball into the box by Ainsworth but Jonsson is there to gather.

    6mins: Johansson has a shot

    4mins: Another ‘Well corner but this time the ref says McManus was climbing on Praest

    2mins: Early corner for ‘Well but it’s headed clear by Vemmelund

    1min: Game is underway here in Iceland!


    Stjarnan  manager Runar Pall Sigmunsson

    Coming Soon

    Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:

    Coming soon



    [poll id=”195″]

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    McCall previews Stjarnan clash

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall was optimistic as his side prepare to face Stjarnan in the Europa League tomorrow.

    The Steelmen are in Garðabær, just outside Reykjavik, and trained in the Samsung völlurinn 24 hours ahead of Thursday’s second leg tie.

    The score is poised evenly at 2-2 and McCall hopes with another game under their belts, his team can really take the game to Rúnar Páll Sigmundsson’s side.

    “It was our first competitive game and hopefully that’s got rid of a bit of rustiness, and we can go there and get the result we need,” he said.

    “We have a squad of players who are capable of getting a result and hopefully we are still in Europe come Friday morning.

    “The game plan is to come here, try to attack and take the game to Stjarnan.”


  • Archive

    Stjarnan ticket information: 2nd Leg

    Stjarnan have today confirmed ticket information for next Thursday’s Europa League 2nd Qualifying Round, 2nd Leg match.

    Tickets for the match have been priced at:

    Adults: £20
    Under 16s: £10

    Tickets will be available direct from the Stjarnan at the Samsung völlurinn on both Wednesday (from 2pm) and Thursday, but are restricted to 85 for general sale served on a first-come-first-served basis.

    General Manager Alan Burrows said: “We advised Stjarnan eight days ago that we expected approximately 300 / 400 Motherwell fans to make the trip to Iceland and asked for as many tickets as possible.

    “Frustratingly, the Samsung völlurinn holds just 1000 people meaning our allocation is small with UEFA rules stipulating a minimum of 5% (fifty tickets).

    “Stjarnan advised us that they hoped to accommodate as many Motherwell fans as possible but we are being limited to one block within the stadium.

    “Unfortunately, they did not have the facility to bring tickets with them to the game in Scotland, so will sell them directly to Motherwell fans at the ground from 2pm on Wednesday.”

    The Icelanders have confirmed ‘Well fans will be made most welcome at the All-in SportsBar near the ground before and after the match.

    All-in sportbar address:

    Stakkahraun 1
    220 Hafnafjörður

    The game will also be shown live on Icelandic television – Stöð 2 sport.

  • Archive

    Europa League 3rd Round draw

    The reward for the winners of next Thursday’s match in Iceland is a Third Round tie against JK Nõmme Kalju or Lech Poznań.

    Motherwell and Stjarnan played out an exciting, if ultimately frustrating, 2-2 draw at Fir Park last night.

    It’s all to play for in six days time, including a potential match against the Polish giants although the Estonian side are 1-0 up from the first leg.

    More details to follow…

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    Highlights from Fir Park

    Highlights from Fir Park as the Steelmen were pegged back back to a 2-2 draw despite a commanding first-half lead.

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    Starnan draw in pictures

    Action pictures from the 2-2 draw with Stjarnan at Fir Park in the UEFA Europa League.

    Snaps courtesy of SNSPix.

    [svgallery name=”stjarnan170714″]

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    McCall upbeat despite late goal

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall was upbeat despite watching his side being pegged back to a 2-2 draw in the 92nd minute.

    The Steelmen started brightly and debutant Josh Law hit a double before a penalty allowed Stjarnan in after Lasley was adjudged to have handled in the area.

    Both teams had chances to score again but it was another penalty, two minutes form time, pulled the Icelanders level.

    Olafur Karl Finsen, who scored with the first spot kick, kept his cool to convert again leaving the tie wide open ahead of the second leg in Iceland next Thursday.

    “If we’re honest, it could’ve been six all. Being 2-0 up, it’s then a disappointing scoreline but we’re by no means out of the game,” said McCall.

    [pullquote]We’d have been happy to have gone over there with any sort of victory; 2-1 we’d have been more than pleased. It’s all to play for now[/pullquote]

    “Where we’ve been unfortunate is that both penalties have come from unbelievable ricochets and deflections back into the box.

    “They could’ve gone one up quite easily and missed a good chance. Then we took control of the game and played some really good football.

    “At 2-0, we’re looking to go and add to that. In the second half they’ve had good chances and so have we.

    “But listen, it’s our first competitive game and I think you could tell that we’re rusty in a lot of areas.

    “Someone shouted from behind (the dugout) that we were ‘playing nothing’ but they were good players and I knew they’d create chances against us.

    “We’d have been happy to have gone over there with any sort of victory; 2-1 we’d have been more than pleased. It’s all to play for now.”

  • Archive

    Motherwell 2 – 2 Stjarnan

    [tab:Match report]

    Josh Law scored twice in the first 19 minutes but ‘Well were pegged back by two penalties in a 2-2 draw against Icelandic side Stjarnan.

    Law’s double had ‘Well in a commanding position but when Keith Lasley was penalised for handball in the box 10 minutes before half time, Finsen reduced the deficit at the break.

    Both sides could and perhaps should have added to the scoring, before Lasley once again fell foul of the Danish referee with seconds remaining to balance the tie on a knife-edge ahead of next week’s second leg in Iceland.

    It was a real test of fitness for Stuart McCall’s side in their first competitive match since clinching second place on the final day of last season, to earn tonight’s tie. The Lanarkshire sunshine made Fir Park feel more like Belo Horizonte than Motherwell, adding to the European feel for the game.

    Dan Twardzik retained his place in goal, with a familiar defensive line up of Stevie Hammell, Stephen McManus, Simon Ramsden and Craig Reid in front of him. Josh Law was the only new face in the starting line up, assisting John Sutton in the attack. They were both ably assisted by Keith Lasley, Iain Vigurs and Lionel Ainsworth, with Stuart Carswell scavenging for every available loose ball.

    From the get go, Motherwell used the right wing to carve out opportunities, with Ainsworth and Reid keen to begin the game at pace. However, it was the Icelandic side who almost took the lead in the third minute.

    A fast break down the right looked to have petered out when the crossed ball in evaded everyone in the box. However, Finsen kept the ball alive though and flashed a ball in to the six yard area which the unmarked Veigar Pall Gunnarsson headed agonisingly wide in front of the 22-man travelling support.

    It was a big let off for ‘Well in the opening stages, but soon the hosts got a foothold on the game, with Reid, Lasley and Ainsworth all earning corners from deflected efforts. The early pressure paid off in the ninth minute as Josh Law opened the scoring on his debut.

    An attack down the right found Lasley at the edge of the box. His lofted ball in was headed goal ward by John Sutton, but instead of trapping the ball, Stjarnan ‘keeper Ingvar Jonsson pushed the ball on to the toe of Law who prodded in from a yard out.

    An instant impact, much like his brother Nicky had made at Fir Park previously, Josh had not only netted the first goal of the tie, but Motherwell’s first European goal since Tom Hateley’s last minute free kick in Odense in 2010. While not as spectacular as Hateley’s set piece, it was an early marker for the home side to build on.

    With their tails up, the Fir Parkers searched for a second, with Lasley looking lively in the box after linking up with Law just moments after the goal. Only a last ditch block prevented the skipper from doubling the lead.

    The second goal wasn’t far away though, as Law netted his second of the game in the 19th minute.

    A slip on the left by Nicklas Vemmelund allowed Iain Vigurs to advance to the edge of the box. With Sutton to his left, he opted to pass between two Stjarnan defenders, picking out the run of Law, who dinked the ball deftly over Jonsson and in to the net.

    Two goals to the good, the hosts were in full control and should have added to their tally as the half wore on. A corner on the right bounced around before the ball fell to Stuart Carswell on the edge of the area but he blazed over.

    Had it gone in, Motherwell would no doubt have been on easy street, but the game turned in the 35th minute when the referee awarded the visitors a penalty.

    A ball from the left was fizzed in to the box and awkwardly struck Lasley on the upper arm as he tried to get out of its path. The referee pointed to the spot and booked the ‘Well skipper to little complaint from his teammates. Olafur Karl Finsen stepped up and sent Twardzik the wrong way to halve the deficit and make the Well’s grip on the game a little looser.

    John Sutton almost gave the perfect reply, when Lasley and Hammell combined down the left to tee up last season’s top scorer inside the box. The power and poise was there, but somehow, Sutton’s finish flashed just last the post.

    Up the other end, Twardzik did well to keep out Finsen on a three on three break away, saving well with his legs as Stjarnan looked to level just before the half time whistle.

    The second half started similarly to the first, with the home side making all the running down the right, but it took a while for the first chance of note to materialise. It came when Jonsson had to react well to a Law volley to prevent the former Alfreton Town man from grabbing a hat trick on his first start.

    While the ‘Well looked good going forward, they were almost picked off at the other end when Finsen was picked out in the box from Bjorgvinsson’s cross, it looked certain that the Icelanders would level but the hosts escaped.

    As the game swung from end to end, Vigurs had the ball in the net after a neat one-two with Law at the edge of the box, but the offside flag ruled the well worked strike out.

    Fraser Kerr and Lee Erwin soon replaced Lionel Ainsworth and goalscorer Law as McCall looked to freshen things, but it was Finsen once more for Stjarnan who was next to threaten.

    The tricky number 17 went on a diagonal run from left to right, unleashing a shot back across goal which thankfully whistled past Twardzik’s right hand post.

    As the game reached the 90th minute, Motherwell appealed in vain for a penalty when Simon Ramsden looked to be taken down as he swung at a lose ball eight yards from goal. Play raged on though as the decision was not given by the referee.

    He did however award a second penalty to the Icelanders in stoppage time, a stramash in front of goal saw Lasley adjudged to have pulled sub Toft down during the melee. Finsen duly sent Twardzik the wrong way again, to secure a 2-2 draw in the latest of fashions.

    It was a bitter and unfortunate pill for the home side to swallow. It’s all to play for in Iceland next Thursday.

    [tab:As it happened]

     Alastair Reilly at Fir Park

    FT: Motherwell 2 – 2 Stjarnan

    GOAL! A sickener as Finsen sends Twardzik the wrong way to make it 2-2

    91mins: Another Stjarnan penalty!

    4 minutes added on…

    88mins: Stjarnan sub, Toft on for Gunnarsson.

    85mins: Erwin looking busy on his debut. He’s unlucky to see his snapshot from 25 yards drift just over.

    83mins: Good stop from Twardzik to deny Bjorgvinsson who had cut inside from the right

    79mins: Great cross in from Hammell finds the head of Erwin but he’s stretching and can only head just over.

    77mins: Lasley is denied by the foot of Jonsson after he shot from Vigurs’ slid through pass. A great chance!

    74mins: Finsen drags a good effort just past the post from a narrow angle.

    73mins: Looks a bad one, but he’s only off temporarily by the looks of it.

    71mins: Corner to ‘Well, ball breaks to Reidy who takes a sore one to the face. Play has stopped for treatment.

    69mins: Motherwell subs, Ainsworth and Law off for Erwin and Kerr

    64mins: Now Præst is booked for a cruncher on Vigurs

    63mins: Ainsworth swings the ball in from the left to the head of Sutton but he can’t quite get enough on it to trouble Jonsson

    61mins: Arnason gets a yellow for a bodycheck on Ainsworth.

    59mins: Vigurs has the ball in the net but linesman put his flag up too early, ruling Sutton offside, Vigurs was onside

    57mins: Up the other end, Finsen passes up a glorious opportunity, slicing his volley just past when a goal looked certain.

    As the ball drops to McManus he gets plenty on his volley but Jonsson is equal to it and makes a good stop.

    55mins: Præst heads Vigurs’ inviting ball in out for a corner.

    52mins: Ainsworth shoots from range but it’s held up in the turf and trickles into the hands of Jonsson.

    It’s clipped in to the back post but Arnason heads clear ahead of Ramsden

    47mins: Vigurs wins a free-kick in a decent area. 35 yards out, central….

    Punyed and Gunnarsson get the second half underway.

    HT: Motherwell 2 – 1 Stjarnan

    43mins: Ramsden is booked for a late tackle on Michael Præst

    42mins: ‘Well are cut open and only the foot of Twardzik denies Bjorgvinsson!

    39mins: Finsen almost sneaks in as he rounds Twardzik but Reid is there to cover with an important interception

    37mins: Almost an immediate reply. Great effort from Sutton on his left foot after Lasley cut it to the edge of the box

    35mins: GOAL! Finsen slots it home. 2-1. A penalty from nowhere, ref says Lasley handled….

    Penalty to Stjarnan!

    33mins: Bit ambitious from Vigurs as he attempts a right footed volley after some keepy-uppies. Well over.

    30mins: free-kick to Stjarnan about 35 yards out…..Gunnarson shoots well over.

    28mins: Great chance for Carswell just inside the box but he was leaning back and his shot blazes over the bar!

    25mins: Corner to Motherwell…..safely gathered by Jonsson.

    Lovely play from Vigurs who dispossessed Vemmelund and clipped it to Law who finished with a delicious chip over Jonsson!! 2-0

    It’s that man JOSH LAW again!!!!!


    16mins: Great covering slide tackle from Carswell as Gunnarsson looked to break. Vital.

    14mins: Lasley finds some space on the edge of the box but his shot is blocked by Rauschenberg

    A goal in Europe….feels good, eh? :p

    JOSH LAW breaks the deadlock!! A tap-in after Sutton’s header was saved by Jonsson. 1-0!!

    8mins: Reid’s cross is deflected just over the bar, From the corner……GGGOOOOAAALLLLLLL!!

    ..McManus is judged to have fouled Rauschenberg.

    6mins: Up the other end, it’s another ‘Well corner…

    5mins: What a let off! Gunnarsson somehow heads wide from 6 yards out!

    3mins: Craig Reid wins ‘Well a corner…but Vemmelund heads clear.

    Formalities over, it’s time to get down to business. Lasley and Sutton kick the action off. ‘Mon the ‘Well!! #MFCvSFC

    Counting down the minutes to kick-off on a great night for football. It’s lovely here at Fir Park.


    Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:

    “Where we’ve been unfortunate is that both penalties have come from unbelievable ricochets and deflections back into the box.

    “They could’ve gone one up quite easily and missed a good chance. Then we took control of the game and played some really good football.

    “At 2-0, we’re looking to go and add to that. In the second half they’ve had good chances and so have we.

    “But listen, it’s our first competitive game and I think you could tell that we’re rusty in a lot of areas.”

    Stjarnan  manager Runar Pall Sigmunsson

    Coming Soon


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  • Archive

    Ticket Office open to kick-off

    The Motherwell FC Ticket Office will open up to kick-off tonight for fans wishing to buy Europa League Tickets.

    Fans should also note that, for the first time, two cash turnstiles will be available in both the East and Davie Cooper Stands with the aim of cutting down on queuing and speeding up the entry process.

    Full season ticket information can be found by CLICK HERE.

    Europa League ticket information is here: CLICK HERE

    Regular Ticket Office opening times: CLICK HERE

  • Archive

    Ramsden urges patient approach

    Simon Ramsden has called for patience when the Steelmen face Stjarnan in the Europa League on Thursday.

    Ramsden makes his comeback on Thursday from knee surgery in January that was meant to keep him out for four weeks, only for a complication in surgery to force another two operations and end his season.

    But the 32-year-old will not make any rash bursts forward against the Icelandic side in the second qualifying round at Fir Park.

    Ramsden said: “It’s probably a totally different outlook this match compared to the games we’ve played in previously where we weren’t necessarily the favourites.

    “It’s swung round a bit where the onus is on us to go out there and get a victory to take to Iceland. But, as anyone saw in the Celtic game last night, it’s not always as straightforward as people presume.

    “No doubt they will be coming to sit in and make it difficult for us to get the victory so we might have to be very patient and when we get the chance to capitalise on space we need to make the most of it and get some goals to take over there.”

    Motherwell have not scored in their last seven European matches but Ramsden will not worry if a goal does not come quickly.

    “People have said they are going to sit in but it’s up to us to break them down,” he said.

    [pullquote]The game doesn’t have to be won in the first five minutes. The game is over two legs and whether it takes to halfway through the second half or even if it’s in the second leg, we just need to be focused and patient and wait for the chances to come.[/pullquote]

    “But the game doesn’t have to be won in the first five minutes. The game is over two legs and whether it takes to halfway through the second half or even if it’s in the second leg, we just need to be focused and patient and wait for the chances to come.”

    Motherwell have been caught out in their last two European adventures by counter-attacks after dominating large periods of home games against Panathinaikos, Levante and Kuban Krasnodar.

    “That’s the difference at this level, when you do get a chance you have got to take it,” he said. “We did have some great periods against Panathinaikos when we were well on top, and then the sucker punch came and they hit us on the break.

    “I don’t think you can afford to give some of these European sides too many chances because they will hurt you.

    “We want to be positive and get a lead and take some goals into the second leg but we also have to be very wary that they don’t hit us on the counter-attack.”

    Ramsden, who is likely to line up at centre-half following the departure of Shaun Hutchinson, is eager to make up for lost time after an impressive run at right-back was cut short last season.

    “Everybody at the club can’t wait for the game , it’s been in our minds all pre-season but this is my first competitive game for six months so I’ve been looking forward to getting that buzz of playing competitive football again,” he said.

    “It was a frustrating time but a lot of footballers have been in that boat and I intend to bounce back from it.”