His parent club Manchester United faced a hostile welcome in Istanbul – but left-back Reece Devine says he’ll welcome St Johnstone’s Galatasaray challenge with open arms.
Manchester United were infamously given a ‘Welcome to Hell’ upon arriving to face the Turkish giants during the 1990s. Devine and St Johnstone will travel to Galatasaray this Thursday in the first leg of their Europa League third round qualifier, coming off the back of the McDiarmid Park club’s historic League Cup and Scottish Cup double.
Galatasaray will be strong favourites – possessing talent such as former Manchester United striker Falcao – but Devine says it will be a ‘real challenge’ for St Johnstone. The left-back impressed during his senior debut in St Johnstone’s 0-0 Scottish Premiership opener with Ross County.
Devine said: “Maybe we’ll get a bit of that (Welcome to Hell messaging). That’s something we’ll just have to deal with. We’ll be OK. What an opportunity for us as a team and for me as an individual. We’ll all go there and be ourselves and show everybody what we are capable of.
“We haven’t really spoken about them much yet. We put all our focus into Ross County. Now we can start preparing for Thursday’s game. Galatasaray are a massive club with a huge fanbase. They’ll have a big crowd behind them and they’re a great footballing team.
“Falcao was obviously at Manchester United. He’s a great player with so much experience at the very highest level. And he’s not alone. Of course it will be a real challenge for the boys, but it’s something we’ll relish. This is what football about – what more could you ask for?”
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