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Rosenborg BK must raise their performance from that which they gave in a narrow cup win at the weekend if they are take a positive result from the first leg of their UEFA Champions League play-off against FC København, says coach Nils Arne Eggen.
IK Start raced into a two-goal lead against Rosenborg on Saturday before Eggen's team finally found their feet and turned the quarter-final tie around with four goals in 24 minutes either side of half-time on their way to a 4-3 home victory. "We were too naive going forward in the first 20 minutes and were punished for that," said Eggen, who expects to be able to select Mikael Lustig and Per Ciljan Skjelbred despite the pair being substituted due to exhaustion. "Things got better later in the game and I'm sure the players will show an improvement against København."
After Start reduced their arrears to one, Rosenborg played the last 35 minutes with ten men following Anthony Annan's dismissal. "We used some extra energy to defend our lead with only ten men, but we will cope – we are well trained," said winger Trond Olsen.
Mikael Dorsin, however, knows his side have to improve. "This is not good enough if we want to go through against København," said the right-back. "Everyone will need to raise themselves." Rade Prica, Vadim Demidov and goalkeeper Erik Bråthen did not feature against Start but are expected to be fit.
Rosenborg will certainly need to raise their game with København in the midst of their best start to a domestic campaign in five years. FCK lead the way in Denmark thanks to four wins and a draw from their opening five matches, a 13-point haul which eclipses their totals at the same stage during the last two campaigns (seven and 11) when they won the title.
Solbakken, though, realises the encounter with his fellow countrymen represents a step up in class and expects his team's form to count for little. "We are where we should be at the moment, but such cup games tend to live their own lives," said the 42-year-old, in charge since 2006. "We will be up against an opponent who doesn't really resemble the teams we meet in the Superliga."
FCK will look to Dame N'Doye to earn them a second group stage appearance after the 25-year-old continued his explosive start to the campaign with both goals in a 2-0 home win against FC Nordsjælland on Saturday. With four in five games, N'Doye is, unsurprisingly, the talk of the Superliga. "It's as if each time I score people tell me that was my best game ever," said the former Panathinaikos FC forward, "but the next match is just another game like any other, where you have to perform all over again."
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