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Augenthaler expects high standards

Published: Monday 18 October 2004, 21.45CET
Klaus Augenthaler wants his Bayer 04 Leverkusen side to show their true colours when they take on AS Roma.

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Published: Monday 18 October 2004, 21.45CET

Augenthaler expects high standards

Klaus Augenthaler wants his Bayer 04 Leverkusen side to show their true colours when they take on AS Roma.

By Mark Bennett in Leverkusen

Bayer 04 Leverkusen coach Klaus Augenthaler wants his players to show their true colours against UEFA Champions League Group B rivals, AS Roma.

Mixed results
Leverkusen might have produced stunning displays to beat Matchday 1 opponents Real Madrid CF 3-0 and FC Bayern München 4-1, but they have also looked under-par in losing against Hertha BSC Berlin in Saturday's 3-1 Bundesliga reverse, and 4-2 at FC Dynamo Kyiv three weeks ago.

'Wrong attitude'
"I know how good my players can be, because we showed how good we are in the matches against Bayern and Madrid," Augenthaler said. "Therefore it makes me furious to see them play like we did against Berlin, and the wrong attitude is the reason."

Press leaks
The coach's anger was exacerbated by the leaking to the press of his post-match team-talk in Berlin, where he reportedly accused his players of "being satisfied with driving a big fat car". Augenthaler said: "There are rules in football, but sadly some people don't respect them. If I say something is for the team alone then I would like it to stay that way."

New formation
Those mixed results mean Augenthaler will abandon his usual 4-4-2 formation for a 3-4-3 lineup on Tuesday. "I will play three at the back and three up front. Roma can be beaten, but we will have to do it by attacking down the wings," he explained.

Recovery hopes
Jacek Krzynówek and Jermaine Jones will operate down the flanks, and Dimitar Berbatov in the centre provided he recovers from an ankle injury. Although defender Jens Nowotny and midfielder Carsten Ramelow trained separately from the squad on Monday, both are expected to play.

Völler advice
Augenthaler has received advice on the Italian side from his former Germany team-mate Rudi Völler, who had a short spell in charge at the Stadio Olimpico earlier this season. "Rudi told me that Roma do not bother pushing players forward when they are awarded free-kicks, because Totti tries his luck from anywhere," said Augenthaler. When asked what other information he had gleaned from Völler, he smiled and said: "Enough."

Difficult start
Luigi Del Neri leads Roma in the Champions League for the first time, with the club having forfeited their opening game against Dynamo before losing a two-goal advantage at Madrid under caretaker Ezio Sella, to go down 4-2. However, the coach does not believe the BayArena clash will be decisive.

'Everything to play for'
"It is an important match for all of us, but it the first of four important matches for us in the Champions League," Del Neri said. "We can score goals and still have everything to play for. Hopefully we can turn over a new leaf in the competition and get a good result."

First win
Unlike Augenthaler, Del Neri has not sought advice from Völler. "I do not know Rudi Völler personally, so I did not speak to him. But I know how Leverkusen play at home and my players know what to expect," said the trainer, who gained his first win with Roma on Saturday, as AS Livorno Calcio were beaten 2-0.

Patient approach
Traianos Dellas steps in for the suspended Philippe Mexes while Cristian Chivu is injured, but Del Neri will not abandon caution. "We will wait for our chances like we do in away games," he said. "Augenthaler is obviously well informed and has decided to adapt by announcing changes. We will see in whose favour they work."

Last updated: 19/10/04 12.33CET