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Rutten urges PSV to go for Benfica jugular

Published: Wednesday 6 April 2011, 21.45CET
PSV Eindhoven coach Fred Rutten may see SL Benfica's defence as a "weakness to exploit", but his counterpart Jorge Jesus insists "if we concede and win, I don't care".
Rutten urges PSV to go for Benfica jugular
Fred Rutten takes training in Lisbon ©Getty Images
Published: Wednesday 6 April 2011, 21.45CET

Rutten urges PSV to go for Benfica jugular

PSV Eindhoven coach Fred Rutten may see SL Benfica's defence as a "weakness to exploit", but his counterpart Jorge Jesus insists "if we concede and win, I don't care".

SL Benfica may have only European competition to think of now their Liga title defence is over, but PSV Eindhoven are convinced the Portuguese outfit still have "weaknesses to exploit".

Like all teams they have their weaknesses and we'll try to exploit them
PSV coach Fred Rutten
If we concede again and win I don't care because that's the most important thing
Benfica coach Jorge Jesus

Usurped at home by FC Porto on Sunday, Benfica restart their European campaign with a quarter-final tie against PSV, their conquerors in the 1987/88 European Champion Clubs' Cup final. Fred Rutten's current crop, by contrast, head to Lisbon with domestic affairs still fresh on the mind having slipped off the Eredivisie summit at the weekend.

"Although Benfica are fully focused on the Europa League, we are still in the league and this, so our approach is to take one match at a time," said PSV coach Rutten. "Our goal is to win. We respect Benfica a lot, but we also know they respect us a lot.

"Benfica are the strongest team we have faced until now. At home they attack a lot and sometimes they forget the defence, which is why they concede so many. Individually Benfica have strong players that can win matches. Like all teams they have their weaknesses and we'll try to exploit them."

Any such limitations have rarely surfaced at Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica, where the hosts have lost just one of their last 12 European assignments. "It's important to have the support of the fans," said coach Jorge Jesus, who has defender Maxi Pereira fit. "We are told the stadium should be full and that's great.

"If we concede again and win I don't care because that's the most important thing. Winning 1-0 is better than 2-1, but the primary aim is to win. PSV are an excellent side, one of the best in Holland. They have their ambitions in the competition, and we feel we can go through.

"We always knew before the match against Porto the league was already lost. We wanted to beat Porto for pride. Tomorrow is another competition and each team who is in the last eight has a chance of winning. We haven't been to a final for many years and we are focused first on reaching the semis. Then the path may be clearer."

Rutten, meanwhile, is without the injured Ola Toivonen, who along with Marcus Berg is one half of a strike partnership described by Jorge Jesus as one of PSV's "strong points". Stanislav Manolev, though, is likely to be available.

"We know Benfica well; we know all their qualities and weaknesses," said PSV defender Marcelo. "At this level there are no favourites. The team which commits fewer mistakes will qualify. Our team are ready. We know their attackers are quick and sharp in front of goal, so we have to pay attention to their every move."

Last updated: 07/04/11 16.53CET

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