Sean Gannon is hoping to put previous Euro fever, and not the good kind, behind him as Dundalk gear up for the continuation of their Europa League journey.
The Lilywhites take on Hajduk Split at Oriel Park this Thursday ahead of the return leg a week later in Croatia, where Gannon will be wrapped up in cotton wool due to previous poor luck on the continent.
After the last game in Luxembourg, he was kept out of action for five days after going down with a bad spell of food poisoning in Esch while a trip to Flora Tallinn in Estonia during his Shamrock Rovers days saw him hit hard with a dose of the chicken pox.
“I’m going to have to bring my ma over there to cook for me! I’ll have to eat rice cakes the whole way there and wrap myself in bubble wrap,” he laughed.
“They are massive games though. Europe has been a massive incentive for us this season. We are going well in other competitions but Stephen made it clear he wanted us to put on a good show of ourselves in Europe.
“We are a good players and can do well in Europe and we know how big a game Hajduk Split is going to be. We want to prove ourselves against them.
“As a player, these are exactly the games you want to be involved in and for the club, financially as well as everything else, it is huge.”
Dundalk may be outsiders against the Croatians but Gannon believes that their Europe-friendly football will make them a side not to be underestimated.
“Europe is another level. The players are very technical and usually, mistakes are punished so we know we have to be at the top of our game. Its as big as it gets.
“Our style is a massive help. We like to keep the ball anyway so European football suits us like that and we didn’t have to change anything.
“We will go out and play our normal game, knowing that if we work harder than them then we can get the result. Everyone can’t wait now.”