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Hibs’ defender Darren McGregor has praised the fans who have travelled to Greece for tonight’s Europa League second qualifier leg against Asteras Tripolis.

Over a thousand fans are expected to make the trip and McGregor believes that the atmosphere they generate will inspire the players.

Hibs go into the game with a 3-2 lead having come from two goals down at Easter Road and avoiding defeat to see the club one step neared to qualifying for the group stages.

The popular defender told Hibs Media: “When you hear all the stories about how people got to the Faroe Islands, it’s unbelievable that the fans are so dedicated and it helps us massively.

“My first experience of European away football was Brondby and there was a great following then. The noise they generated before the game was louder than the home support and there was seven or eight thousand people there.

“It gives us a massive boost, particularly when you are playing in the middle of nowhere so for upwards of a thousand fans to come and support us gives us that drive and home comfort to know that so many people and there to spur you on and arewanting you to win.”

McGregor also praised the contribution of Head Coach Neil Lennon who has now led the team to four successive European victories and he insists that the Northern Irishman’s experience will be a major factor in the game despite the fact that he is currently banned from the dugout.

McGregor added: “The gaffer has been there and done it as a player and manager at Celtic and that experience is invaluable and it does seep through to the team.

“His determination and all his character traits, he has installed that in us. You could see in days gone by being 2-0 down after 35 minutes in a European tie is a big ask for any Scottish team but we seem to always come out in top and that’s testament to the gaffer and his coaching style and ‘Parks’ (Garry Parker) as well to be fair.”

 

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