Michel Preud'homme accepts FC Twente have it all to do if their European adventure is to continue following last week's 5-1 UEFA Europa League quarter-final loss to Villarreal CF, but on Sunday Valencia CF showed all is not lost for the Eredivisie leaders.
Three days after Villarreal overwhelmed Twente in the first leg, the Yellow Submarine were on the receiving end of a heavy defeat of their own, 5-0 at neighbours Valencia. Realistic to know lightning is unlikely to strike twice after Villarreal's biggest reverse in 14 months, Preud'homme is simply keen for his players to restore some of the pride dented at El Madrigal.
"There's very little chance of qualifying and it's very difficult to win 4-0 against Villarreal, but we have to try and play well and get a victory," said Preud'homme. "
It will be important to improve confidence and show that we will not make the same mistakes we did in Spain."
Twente's task is not helped by the absence of their three-goal leading scorer in the competition, Luuk de Jong, as well as goalkeeper Nikolay Mihaylov, Nicky Kuiper, Rasmus Bengtsson and the suspended Roberto Rosales. Should Twente's European participation come to an end, then Preud'homme can always reflect on a memorable campaign.
"We've had some good results in Europe this year," he said. "We've played great clubs like Inter Milan, Tottenham and Werder Bremen in the Champions League group stage, and Rubin Kazan and Zenit in the Europa League. We have to learn from the experience achieved against top clubs like Inter Milan and use this in the future."
Juan Carlos Garrido, meanwhile, is looking for one last "push" from Villarreal in order to secure a likely semi-final with FC Porto, who also lead 5-1 in their tie against FC Spartak Moskva. Though the scoreline tells a different story, the coach maintains the first leg was closer than the result suggests.
"We need to go to the Netherlands and finish the job," Garrido, who has Nilmar suspended and Gonzalo out for the season, told UEFA.com. "The first leg was a good performance simply because that was what was required. To get to the Europa league semi-finals isn't easy and needs a huge push.
"To beat them in the first leg we needed to work very hard because they pressed us well and it took us a while to impose ourselves. When we did we produced some very good football, which was converted into the 5-1 lead. We need to play that well again."
Following Sunday's five-goal loss, Garrido will be drilling his side on the merits of a disciplined performance in Enschede. "
The defensive side of our work in the Netherlands will be very important because we know they have at least five very good attacking players and we will need to cope well with them in order to go through," he added.
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