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Huub Stevens expects a tough UCL opening encounter (PSV.nl)

15 sep 2008 - Source: PSV.nl

This newsitem has been supplied by PSV.nl


PSV head coach Huub Stevens expects a tough UCL opening encounter against Atlético Madrid at the Philips Stadium in Eindhoven on Tuesday night. 'We need a result in the first group-stage match to boost our hopes of qualifying for the next phase. We will only meet strong opponents, but all the teams in Group D could lose points to each other', said Stevens, who did not hide his ambition to reach the next round.
'Atlético are well-balanced'
We know we are in for a fierce battle with a very good side. Atlético Madrid are well-balanced; they can vary styles of play and have many quality players on the bench. Two of their players are suspended but their replacements can do a good job. We will have to wait and see how they will operate in Eindhoven, but I don't expect them to surge men forward in large numbers', said Stevens at the traditional pre-match press conference. 'At first I thought Liverpool were hot favourites to win the Group, but I have seen Atlético Madrid in action a few times and I think they are equal to Liverpool in every department. It's a tough tie; there is no question about that. But it's great our young players are offered an opportunity to show their skills in the Champions League. It's a terrific challenge, but the young lads are looking forward to it and I want them to play without fear. They are making small steps in the right direction and are making progress every day.'
Timmy Simons
'It's our ambition to each the next round of the Champions League', said captain Timmy Simons during the press conference. 'I think we are ready to face the challenge.' Atlético Madrid, who return to the Champions League after an absence of eleven years, will hold a press conference at 7pm after which they will train in the Philips Stadium. Media representatives will be allowed to watch the Atlético Madrid squad train for fifteen minutes, before the Spaniard carry on training behind closed doors.