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Page last updated at 10:11 GMT, Monday, 7 July 2008 11:11 UK

Murray realistic on Euro chances

Hibs' midfielder Ian Murray
Ian Murray saw his side well beaten at Easter Road

Hibernian midfielder Ian Murray has admitted that his side are struggling to progress in the Intertoto Cup after their 2-0 defeat by IF Elfsborg.

The Swedish team took a strong grip on the tie at Easter Road ahead of this weekend's return leg in Boras.

"It was a hard shift. They showed their strengths well and beat us fairly comfortably, I felt," said Murray.

"The goals were disappointing and I think our general play was fairly poor."

Magnus Haglund's team dominated the match, demonstrating why they are second in the Swedish top flight and have lost only one match and three goals during their opening 12 games.

Emir Bajrami and Andreas Augustsson struck goals in either half to secure the comfortable win and only poor finishing prevented a wider margin of victory.

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Hibs, playing their first competitive match after returning early to pre-season training two weeks ago, were not up to speed and tired visibly in the second half.

Murray, back at Hibs for a second spell after stints at Rangers and Norwich, was not surprised at the quality on show from Elfsborg, who won their first Swedish title in 45 years under Haglund in 2006.

However, he was disappointed Mixu Paatelainen's men did not offer more, and now fears their hopes of progressing to a meeting with Latvians FK Riga or Dublin side Bohemians could be over.

"There is a chance we can turn it round. Obviously, they are massive favourites and we're struggling to qualify," said Murray.

"As long as we're in touch with them there is a very small chance, but we know it's going to be hard.

"We've got to take the positives - effectively it was a pre-season game for us," said the Hibs midfielder.

"The players are disappointed, it's hard not to be when you get beaten, but the manager is fairly upbeat about the whole thing."

Hibs are seeking entry into the Uefa Cup but Murray believes that even if they fail, the club's pre-season preparations will still have been worthwhile.

"It's hard at the moment to take too many things out of it, but quite honestly it was good for fitness," he said.

"But you never know over there. If we get a goal at any time, as long as it has stayed 0-0, then we'll see what happens."


see also
Hibernian 0-2 Elfsborg
06 Jul 08 |  Europe
Intertoto Cup as it happened
06 Jul 08 |  Europe


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