Larne new boy Rohan Ferguson hopes to add another shock to his impressive back catalogue of European results with Irish League clubs in Portugal on Thursday night.
In 10 outings in UEFA competitions with both the Inver Reds and former club Linfield, the young Scottish goalkeeper boasts a 70 percent winning record.
He has won seven and drawn two; his only defeat coming in a narrow 2-1 loss to Qarabag when David Healy’s Blues agonisingly lost out on the Europa League group stages in 2019.
In four Europa Conference League games so far with Larne, the 23-year-old, who joined the harbour club in June, has won three and drawn one.
“It’s a decent record so far but hopefully I can add to it,” said Ferguson ahead of Thursday’s away leg with Pacos de Ferreira who finished fifth in the Primeira League last season.
“I’ve been very fortunate to have played in some big European nights with Irish League clubs so far, but you always want more.
“Pacos are a good side and finished just below Porto and Benfica last season, but we have to go into the tie with the same mentality as we did in the last round against Aarhus.
“We were written off against Aarhus and it’ll be the same in this round. Nobody will give us a chance, but hopefully we can cause another upset and keep the tie alive for the return leg.”
Ferguson’s European highlights so far include a 3-2 win over Qarabag while on loan at Linfield in 2019 and a 3-2 aggregate win over Aarhus with new club Larne.
Tiernan Lynch’s men secured a memorable 2-1 home win over the Danish big-hitters a fortnight ago, before sealing the deal with a gutsy 1-1 draw in Aarhus last week.
“Aarhus are a top side and Midtjylland beating Celtic in the Champions League shows you the quality of the Danish league, but over the two legs we thoroughly deserved it,” he said.
“I hope people sat up and took notice and that the Irish League gets some respect because to be honest, sometimes I think people look down on the league.
“Aarhus maybe thought they’d turn up, knock the ball about and beat us comfortably, but I thought we were outstanding at home and also got the result we needed in Denmark.”
Ferguson ranks Larne’s famous win over Aarhus “right up there” with Linfield’s memorable 3-2 victory over Qarabag in the Europa League playoffs two years ago.
The Blues beat the Azerbaijan giants 3-2 in Belfast before losing out on the group stages on away goals after a 2-1 defeat in Baku.
“I remember the home game against Qarabag fondly and I don’t think people realised how big it was at the time,” he said.
Larne drew 1-1 in Denmark to beat Aarhus 3-2 on aggregate
(Image: INPHO/Bo Amstrup)
“I didn’t think I’d experience something like that again, but last week’s result in Aarhus and beating them 3-2 on aggregate was right up there for me.
“That’s one of the reasons why I came to Larne, to play in Europe again. I haven’t been surprised by what we’ve done so far this summer because we have a lot of quality in the changing room.”
The winners of Larne’s two-legged tie with Pacos de Ferreira face a glamour date with Tottenham Hotspur in the next round of the competition.