McCLAREN FACES FAMILIAR FOES
Steve McClaren is hoping to continue an impressive start to his second stint at FC Twente with a win over familiar foes Steaua Bucharest in the Europa League.
The former England manager left Twente in 2010 after leading them to their first Eredivisie title and then embarked on turbulent stints with Wolfsburg and Nottingham Forest.
He returned to Twente last month for a second spell as manager following the exit of Co Adriaanse and he has wasted little time in making an impact, leading the club to three emphatic league wins since his appointment.
The 50-year-old also saw his team record a 1-0 away win at Steaua Bucharest in the first leg of their last-32 Europa League game, and is happy with how events have gone since he returned.
"I said I would come back - it's a little bit sooner than I thought - but it's good to be back. Not much has changed, the team has a little bit but everything is still good here," McClaren said.
"The culture, the philosophy, the way we work is the same as it was before so it's okay."
McClaren is all too familiar with the challenge that Thursday's Romanian opponents will pose in what will be his first home European game since moving back to Twente.
Just two weeks after seeing his Middlesbrough side pull off a remarkable comeback against FC Basle, McClaren's men defied the odds once more by overcoming a three-goal first-leg deficit to beat Steaua and reach the final of the 2006 UEFA Cup, which the north-east side lost to Sevilla.
"It's a game I'll never forget," McClaren added on UEFA.com.
"In the quarter-finals against Basle I think we were three or four goals down and we came back and scored in the last minute, and then we did the same against Steaua two weeks later.
"It was an unbelievable evening and I don't think it will be repeated many times in my career.
"Those two games were remarkable. We were losing right until near the end and then (Massimo) Maccarone scored in the last seconds of each game and made the dream come true."
Defender Dwight Tiendalli is available for tomorrow's game after recovering from an ankle injury but Wesley Verhoek has suffered a setback in his recovery from his ankle problem and is therefore out.
Despite the odds being stacked against them, Steaua are confident of overturning the first-leg deficit and staying in the race for a place in May's final, which is being played in the Romanian capital.
"It will be an extraordinary match in the Netherlands and we will score goals," club owner Gigi Becali told GSP post-tv.
"We need to have confidence. It will be 3-1 to us."
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