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Backe sticks to his beliefs

Published: Wednesday 27 August 2003, 17.54CET
FC København coach Hans Backe discusses his team's UEFA Champions League chances.
Published: Wednesday 27 August 2003, 17.54CET

Backe sticks to his beliefs

FC København coach Hans Backe discusses his team's UEFA Champions League chances.
By Peter Bruun

Danish champions FC København aim to book their place in the UEFA Champions League group stage when they take on Scotland's Rangers FC in Wednesday's third qualifying round second leg. Ahead of the game at the Parken stadium, FCK coach Hans Backe took time out to speak to FCK got a good result in the first leg in Glasgow a fortnight ago, a 1-1 draw. Are you expecting Rangers to alter their approach as the away team?

Backe: I have to admit that I know very little about Rangers' away form. At Ibrox, we benefited from the fact their league had just started the previous Saturday, while we had played three games already. We might not have that advantage now. What are your team's strengths?

Backe: We have an ideal combination of talent and experience. But the key thing for us is that every player sees the tactical system as more important than himself. You always appear calm during matches. Would you say you are a thinking coach rather than a thrower of cups who winds his players up?

Backe: I always stay calm at matches. This makes it easier for me to focus on the important things such as tactics. Sometimes I can be a bit more heated in the dressing-room or on the training pitch, but normally I am a calm and controlled type of coach. Do you have any set tactics, or do you choose your tactics according to your opponents?

Backe: I stick to our usual tactics for almost every game - at least in the domestic league we always play the same way. However, I realise that if we qualify for the Champions League, we will have to vary our approach to suit our opponents, at least to a certain degree. What are your club's ambitions this season, domestically and in Europe?

Backe: At home, we are going for the title again, no doubt about it. We know, however, that it is always difficult to win that second championship - the other teams always want to beat the champions. In Europe, we will be happy to qualify for the group stage of the Champions League. If we do make it, every win will be a huge triumph for us, but every match will develop the team a step further. You have worked in Denmark for a number of years now - first with Aalborg BK and now with FCK. How do you view the standard of Danish football?

Backe: I have seen a big improvement in the Danish league in the last few years. Some say there has been no progress with the Superliga - I disagree. I think there is a lot of potential and a lot of talent in Danish football, and this is evident in a very strong Under-21 team. As for Denmark's [UEFA] EURO 2004 chances, I am sure they will qualify and they will do well in Portugal. On a good day Denmark can beat any team in Europe. Finally, how are you enjoying life at FCK?

Backe: After two years at the club I have to say that the level here is better than at most other clubs I have worked at. The club is very well organised and has strong and healthy finances.

Last updated: 28/08/03 11.00CET

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