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Rosenborg out to rise above troubles

Published: Wednesday 20 October 2004, 13.09CET
Rosenborg BK coach Ola By Rise is "quietly confident" his side can arrest their slide against PSV Eindhoven.

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Published: Wednesday 20 October 2004, 13.09CET

Rosenborg out to rise above troubles

Rosenborg BK coach Ola By Rise is "quietly confident" his side can arrest their slide against PSV Eindhoven.

By Stewart Clark in Trondheim

This is a tough period for Rosenborg BK. After taking one point from Matchdays 1 and 2 and suffering problems in their domestic league culminating in defeat last weekend by lowly Stabæk IF, fans of the Trondheim club will be hoping desperately for a positive performance in Wednesday's home match against PSV Eindhoven to mark the end of their slide.

'Quietly confident'
They will have taken encouragement from the words of coach Ola By Rise, who, ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group E meeting, said: "We are quietly confident. There is a good feeling in the team. The period we had in August when we went from success to success seems to be back. In the Champions League, Rosenborg rarely lose at home, just look at the stats."

Mutual admiration
A 1-1 draw with Arsenal FC three weeks ago bears testament to that, as PSV coach Guus Hiddink recognised when he said: "We watched them against Arsenal and Panathinaikos [FC, who won 2-1 in Athens] and know that Rosenborg are an experienced team who play well. It will be difficult for us here at the Lerkendal." The admiration is mutual too, with Rosenborg's assistant coach, Per Joar Hansen, concluding after watching PSV three times that there were "no weak points in the team".

Berg missing
Both clubs have a strong core of experienced players and some very promising youngsters but Rosenborg will be missing midfield ace Ørjan Berg due to a knee problem, as well as Christer Basma, whose groin problem might require surgery. Berg will be replaced by Jan Gunnar Solli, the man of the match in Norway's 3-0 victory over Slovenia last week. PSV, meanwhile, should have Ji-Sung Park available after injury.

Differing fortunes
While both clubs are joint-top of their domestic leagues, there is a clear difference between their recent fortunes. While Rosenborg were suffering the aforementioned 2-1 home defeat on Saturday against relegation candidates Stabæk - their fourth loss in five domestic league games - PSV were winning 2-0 win at ADO Den Haag, at least until the match was abandoned in the last ten minutes because of crowd trouble.

Hiddink wary
Rosenborg have thrown away a four-point lead at the top of the Tippeliga during the last three weeks, although they remain above Vålerenga IF, thanks to their better goal average. Hiddink does not expect Rosenborg's domestic problems to have any impact here, however. "We know that Rosenborg have had some poor results recently, but the Champions League is another situation and a special atmosphere. We will have to play our best to win."

By Rise stands firm
By Rise himself dismissed speculation about the possible threat to his position after these setbacks, as he said: "All the comments about my future as Rosenborg's coach do not bother me. We have had worse periods in the 26 years I have been with Rosenborg as a player and coach. I do not plan to resign."

He sought to explain their poor run, saying: "We had several new signings in August and September and some of our experienced players have shown signs that it is the end of a long season. This partly explains our yo-yo performance in September."

'Little to lose'
Rosenborg are bottom of the group with one point while PSV and Panathinaikos have three, and Arsenal four. By Rise said: "Arsenal are clearly the Group E favourites. PSV are ranked second and we are fourth but the difference between Rosenborg, Panathinaikos and PSV is slight. With one point, we have little to lose."

Last updated: 20/10/04 16.37CET