Dylan McGeouch is adamant Hibs can overcome Brondby in Denmark on Thursday and set up a glamour Europa League showdown with Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin.
The Scottish Championship title favourites head to Copenhagen this week knowing they must overturn a 1-0 deficit in the second leg of their second qualifying round tie. The Danes are red-hot favourites to progress to a third qualifying round clash with the Germans after edging a tightly-contested first leg at Easter Road.
However, McGeouch, who played the first 65 minutes last Thursday, insists his team have enough quality to redress the balance at the 29,000-capacity Brondby Stadium. “I definitely think we can turn it round over there,” the midfielder told the Evening News. “The boys certainly believe we can do it. I think everybody coming away from the game on Thursday felt we could be a match for them over two legs.
“I thought we were quite unlucky on Thursday. Their goal was a mistake by the goalkeeper, but we shrugged it off, played good football and had a good few chances and got some good balls into the box. We grew into it as the game went on.
“I couldn’t sense any gulf between them and us. Once we got the ball down and started playing with a bit of confidence, we had the better chances. They’re a good side obviously but, we’ll be looking to go through. We’ve had a chance to suss them out and we can take a lot from the first leg. Hopefully we can go over there and get a result and get to the next stage.”
McGeouch knows Hibs might be forced to do plenty defending on Thursday but he believes his team are equipped to ensure a difficult night for the Danes, who began their league campaign with a 4-0 win at home to Esbjerg last night. “It’s a case of stick or twist for them, whereas we can go there with nothing to lose,” he said. “Hopefully we can get a goal, preferably early, and give ourselves a chance. It will probably be a bit different to what we’re used to because we’ve dominated the majority of games we’ve played over the last two years, and that probably won’t be the case on Thursday.
“We might find ourselves camped in and having to defend for long periods, but we’ve got different options about how we can approach it. We can either sit in and try and hit on the counter, or we can just go for it. Either way we’ll have a gameplan.”
McGeouch believes the travelling Hibs support, buoyed by recent events at the club, can help roar Neil Lennon’s team to a famous victory in the Danish capital. “The fans really responded to us on Thursday,” he said. “The atmosphere was brilliant. You could hear them every time we went forward. It was also the manager’s first game in charge and that definitely played a part in the atmosphere. The Europa League is a bonus for us after winning the Scottish Cup and you can tell everybody’s in good spirits about everything going on.”