The official website for European football

McClaren: It is win or bust for Twente

Published: Wednesday 7 November 2012, 18.55CET
Steve McClaren spoke about FC Twente's improving form, "special" European nights and even the weather but there was really only one thing on his mind: victory over Levante UD.
by Chris Driessen
from Twente
McClaren: It is win or bust for Twente
Twente boss Steve McClaren ©Getty Images
Published: Wednesday 7 November 2012, 18.55CET

McClaren: It is win or bust for Twente

Steve McClaren spoke about FC Twente's improving form, "special" European nights and even the weather but there was really only one thing on his mind: victory over Levante UD.

FC Twente coach Steve McClaren was his usual engaging self on Wednesday, holding forth on his team's inconsistent form, what makes European nights so special and why Levante UD will be tough to crack. Yet almost every considered thought, every reverential air, carried the same appendage: "We need to win."

This is win or bust for the Eredivisie leaders. Their 3-0 UEFA Europa League defeat at Levante a fortnight ago, when their attacking endeavours were clinically dissected, left them third in Group L, four points adrift of the Spanish side and five behind Hannover 96. They can afford no further slip-ups. "It is half-time in the group phase," reasoned McClaren. "We did not have a good first half and need a better performance in the second. We need to win all three matches, certainly our two home games."

Twente are formidable opposition on their own turf, last week's Dutch Cup reverse against FC Den Bosch the only stain on a fine record this season. Sunday's dominant 3-0 victory over Feyenoord put them back on track, the perfect start to a "big week" that will conclude with an Eredivisie trip to third-placed Vitesse. "We have to perform with passion and intensity as we showed on Sunday," said McClaren.

"The confidence is always there, the belief," added the Englishman, who guided Middlesbrough FC to the 2006 UEFA Cup final. "We know what we are capable of and on Sunday the whole club was behind the team. We all fought together – we were all going in one direction, forward." They were not exactly on the back foot two weeks ago in a sodden Valencia, either, and still suffered a heavy loss. McClaren was a frustrated, if impressed, onlooker.

"[Levante] are compact, drop deep and rely on a really quick transition," he said. "They rely on mistakes. Two weeks ago we made mistakes and they punished us. They know we have to force the game this time, be positive; they will be patient, sit back and wait for the mistakes. We showed in Levante that we can play, we can create. We're at home so we must be positive and go for the win."

Twente's ambitions have been tempered by the loss of Nacer Chadli and Leroy Fer to injury, though McClaren reckons the promise of extending their UEFA Europa League campaign can spur his side on against a Levante team who have lost five of their last seven away games. "The players love playing in Europe – the travelling, going to different places, playing against different teams," he said. "It develops players, their development and that of the team. We want to continue into the new year. We need to win."

Last updated: 08/11/12 14.37CET

Related information

Team profiles
Related match

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/news/newsid=1888574.html#mcclaren+it+bust+twente

UEFA.com features

UEFA Europa League facts and figures
  • UEFA Europa League facts and figures
  • Goals galore: The best of matchday three
  • Where does Lamela's Europa League goal rank?
  • Penalties: How to hit them, where to put them
  • Upwardly-mobile Roma impress Xabi Alonso
  • Benatia ready for quick return to Roma
  • Masterclass: Džeko's heading guide
  • European qualifying's all-time top scorers
  • Pick of the Week of Football
  • Linköping and Liverpool seek improvement
1 of 10
 
  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The UEFA word, the UEFA logo and all marks related to UEFA competitions, are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.