Writer: Mike Field
Date:Monday August 25 2008
Stiliyan Petrov is looking forward to a run in the UEFA Cup, but knows we must bounce back from the Stoke disappointment and hammer the Icelandic team in the second leg this week.
Petrov, unlike most of our squad, is no stranger to European Cup runs and having seemingly found his form could be a very important asset to us as we hopefully progress further into the competition.
Speaking on the official site Petrov is adamant that although we are hugely the favourites given our 4-1 lead from the first leg, there is still a job to be done and plenty of errors that we saw against Stoke to be rectified.
It's hard not to look at FH as a competative training match, but that's exactly how we should. We spend the first half putting the match out of reach and we spend the second half encouraging the defence to gell.
'We did well in the first-leg and to be 4-1 up after the away game is great. Now we have to finish the job in front of our home fans.
'Playing in European football is a great experience. Some of us have already done it and want to do it again. But for some of the players this is their first experience of playing in the UEFA Cup.
'The fans are excited as well. We had over 30,000 for the Intertoto Cup game against Odense and I'm sure they'll get behind us again.
'We worked really hard last season to qualify for Europe and if we can get far in the competition it will be great for the players and for the fans.
'We will get to play against different teams and different styles of football. That helps you develop as a player - just like playing international football helps you develop as a player.
'If we can get into the group stages then we will have a lot of European football this season. After that, who knows? Look at what Rangers did last season. They went all the way to the final.
'When I was at Celtic we went all the way to the final and it was a great experience. Before we can think about that though we have to make sure we are in the first round.'
It's strange to believe really that some of our younger fans have never tasted European football believe. Those cold dark nights, nothing beats the atmosphere. It's been a long time coming, but we are finally back on the right path.
Date:Monday August 25 2008
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