Dundalk left-back Dane Massey admitted that the calibre of opposition his side came up against in Hajduk Split was a level above anything he has played before.
The full-back was charged with the unenviable task of keeping quiet Hajduk’s tricky young winger Jean Evrard Kouassi and acquitted himself win against the speedy Ivorian, something which brought him some comfort.
He told The Dundalk Democrat: “I’d imagine he is a top, top player over in his league. I knew coming into the game I would be up against him. I knew how fast he was from watching videos of him and tried to stay as tight as I could. He was a quality player and I was up against it throughout but I really enjoyed it.
“It is a massive plus and a big thing to be playing against top players in Europe. As a player, it is where you want to be and is a huge highlight of anyone’s career. Now I’m looking forward to getting over to their stadium and soaking up the atmosphere.”
The former Bray Wanderers man was impressed with Hajduk but he believes Dundalk are unfortunate not to be travelling to Croatia with at least one goal to show for their efforts.
“To be fair, we were slow off the mark and they scored what was a great goal with the header. But that took the monkey off our back as such and after that we played really good stuff and created some really good chances.
“We hit the post, the ‘keeper made good saves and Pat was unlucky too. In the second half we pushed and pressed but unfortunately we couldn’t break them down.