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Ronald Koeman's reaction to the UEFA Champions League draw. (PSV.nl)

31 aug 2007 - Source: PSV.nl

This newsitem has been supplied by PSV.nl


PSV will play Internazionale, CSKA Moscow and Fenerbahçe in the UEFA Champions League Group G. When asked for a first reaction, PSV head coach Koeman thought that Thursday night's group stage draw at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco was 'not too bad'. Captain Timmy Simons, who expects some tough games with two newcomers, referred to the draw as 'fair'.
“The draw is not too bad”, said Ronald Koeman, who attended the draw in Monaco before presenting the prize of best defender of the Champions League 2006-2007 to Paolo Maldini. “But we will have to make two long trips to Istanbul and Moscow, where we face tough opposition from Fenerbahçe and CSKA. Inter, reigning champions in Italy, are a great club with a great history. PSV have never played them before. We will go up against a few familiar faces from the Dutch league when we take on Internazionale from Milan. We know Turkish football well. We have played there in recent times and know that Fenerbahçe will be looking to exploit home advantage in their own stadium. They are formidable opponents and we are looking forward to meeting up with former PSV striker Mateja Kezman. CSKA are also a good side. The circumstances in Russia, at the end of November, may play a crucial role.”

PSV captain Timmy Simons thought that, looking at other groups, it was hard to say whether PSV's group could have been easier. “Actually there are no easy groups, but I am relishing the prospect of playing on the biggest stage in club football. We have never played Internazionale before. It will be interesting to meet a new top club with quality players in a familiar stadium. We played Fenerbahçe before, so we know what to expect. They are a temperamental side, contesting every inch of ground, but I think we will stand a chance. I don't know much about CSKA. I suppose they are a solid team and it may be hard to play football under difficult circumstances in wintry weather. All in all, I think it is fair draw with two new opponents.”
Carlos Salcido also thinks reaching the next phase in the Champions league is a realistic challenge. “You will always meet quality sides when you play Champions League football. Yet I think we stand a fair chance of progressing to the knock-out phase. We open our campaign on 19 September, when we play host to CSKA Moscow and I hope we will get a good result, backed by our fans, and set the tone for the remaining five group stage games”, said Salcido a few hours after the draw had been made.