Preece admits Airbus need a Euro miracle

ANDY Preece admits his side will face a tough task to overcome their Croatian opponents in the Europa League first qualifying round.

The Wingmakers' director of footballPreece believes Airbus will need ‘a miracle’ to make Europa League history after a daunting draw against full-time outfit NK Lokomotiva.

Preece flew back from the qualifying-round draw in Switzerland cursing his luck after the other three Welsh sides in Europe were handed ties against opposition from Luxembourg, Malta and the Faroe Islands.

"We’d swap with any of them, and we’d certainly fancy our chances!" Preece told the Chronicle.

"Of course we will give it our best shot, like we always do. We’ll be as organised and as prepared as we possibly can but, realistically, we’re probably going to need a miracle."

Although Airbus have never won a game in Europe, they managed to match professional outfits in their first two campaigns, losing out on away goals to FK Ventspils of Latvia in 2013 and 3-2 on aggregate to Norwegian club Haugesund last summer.

"You’d expect Lokomotiva to be at least as good as Haugesund, so it’s going to be incredibly difficult." Preece added.

"We played way above where we are to compete with them, but if we can do that and we get a bit of luck then you just never know.

"There’ll be no pressure on us. Zagreb’s a nice play to go, so I’m sure we’ll have a good time!"

With Jordan Barrow suspended from the first leg, Preece is sweating on the fitness of midfield playmaker and free-kick specialist Tom Field.