BRUGGE 'WILL GO FOR IT'
Club Brugge general manager Vincent Mannaert is convinced coach Christoph Daum will put out his strongest side and go for the win in Thursday's Europa League clash against Hannover, despite Daum suggesting he was ready to focus on the league.
The Belgians trail 2-1 going into the second leg, and in a press conference on Sunday, Daum seemed to indicate he was more concerned about trying to close the seven-point gap to Anderlecht at the top of the Jupiler League standings.
Daum was speaking after a 2-1 victory over Kortrijk was overshadowed by a serious injury to Fredrik Stenman, adding to a lengthy list of casualties.
And Mannaert believes emotions got the better of Daum, who will now come out fighting after a few days of reflection.
"You have to put his remark in context," Mannaert told the club's website.
"Emotions run high after a difficult week. That's understandable. He wanted to indicate that his squad, with all these injuries, has its limitations. But I know our coach, he's a true winner.
"And the players will also want to go for it against Hannover. It is better to be sure about it. Quite a challenge lies ahead for everyone, but I'm not worried."
With the margin only one goal, and Brugge having an away goal to their credit, Hannover boss Mirko Slomka is aware that his side still have plenty to do to secure progression to the last 16.
"I still think our chances are 50-50," he told uefa.com.
"We've shown that we can beat Brugge, so perhaps that means our chances have increased slightly, but we'll definitely need at least one away goal to progress to the next round. Brugge are a different proposition at home and are sure to raise their game."
Leading scorer Mohammed Abdellaoue is doubtful with a foot injury, which could see 21-year-old Artur Sobiech start.
"Artur scored his first goal as a substitute last week and got another very important one for us [in the first leg]," said Slomka.
"He had a difficult start to life at Hannover due to various niggling injuries but he's an incredible fighter."
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