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Nordsjælland dig in for Shakhtar victory

Published: Monday 19 November 2012, 20.05CET
Kasper Hjulmand says FC Nordsjælland will be "fighting hard" to beat FC Shakhtar Donetsk whose coach Mircea Lucescu is taking the Danish champions "very seriously".
by Pelle Rasmussen
from Copenhagen
Nordsjælland dig in for Shakhtar victory
Kasper Hjulmand wants to see Nordsjælland 'eating grass' against Shakhtar ©AFP/Getty Images

Tournament statistics

NordsjællandShakhtar Donetsk

Goals scored4
on target20
off target14
Fouls committed72
Yellow cards14
Red Cards0
Published: Monday 19 November 2012, 20.05CET

Nordsjælland dig in for Shakhtar victory

Kasper Hjulmand says FC Nordsjælland will be "fighting hard" to beat FC Shakhtar Donetsk whose coach Mircea Lucescu is taking the Danish champions "very seriously".

FC Nordsjælland coach Kasper Hjulmand gave a crash course in Danish footballing idiom as his side plot to end their Group F home commitments with victory against FC Shakhtar Donetsk, promising that they would be "eating grass" in Copenhagen. His opposite number Mircea Lucescu, meanwhile, acknowledged that the European greenhorns are learning fast.

Kasper Hjulmand, coach
We would love to get a victory. That's why we're here. We'll be giving everything we got – fighting hard, eating grass in pursuit of that winning feeling. We are facing a highly motivated opponent and even if we manage to get the win, we know we're not on the same level as the other teams in the group. Shakhtar are a fantastic side and probably the big favourites to progress from the group. They have great attacking qualities and can come at us in a variety of ways, which will test our organisation.

There are a few things we need to do better than we did in Turin [where they lost 4-0]. We need to make the right decisions. In the UEFA Champions League you have one, maybe two seconds to choose the best option when counterattacking or the chance is gone. That's much less than in the Danish league. We have to focus on finding space to play in and doing well in possession. If we can press their wingers, so they have to start their attacks a bit further back, it will be easier for us to contain them. Most of all, we need to be sharp and make the right decisions. We believe in ourselves even though we know it's going to be very hard.

Weekend result
Friday: AGF Aarhus 0-2 Nordsjælland (John 57, Lorentzen 65)
Hansen; Gundelach, Okore, Runje, Kildentoft; Adu, Christensen (Stokholm 68); Lorentzen, Christiansen, John (Tičinović 82); Nordstrand (Lindberg 80).

• Joshua John's ninth league goal of the season, but first since 28 September, set Nordsjælland en route to victory in Aarhus.

Team news
Andreas Laudrup is unavailable through injury, and fellow forward Mikkel Beckman (ankle) will not play after sitting out training on Tuesday night.

Mircea Lucescu, coach
This match is very important, for us and for our opponents. This is Nordsjælland's last Champions League match in Denmark and they will fight until the end. We will take them very seriously and do our best to get the victory. Nordsjælland do not have a great deal of experience as they are a young team and this season is their first taste of Champions League football. They made some bad mistakes in their last game in Turin but they are improving all the time and caused Chelsea and Juventus problems in previous matches.

Danish sides are usually good footballing teams, and Nordsjælland are no exception. They are good at keeping possession and can play some beautiful football. Next year they will be an even better side, with all the experience they are gaining here. We hope to have learned from our mistakes against Chelsea and Juventus.

Weekend result
Saturday: FC Arsenal Kyiv 2-0 Shakhtar (Shatskikh 34, Kobakhidze 90+3)
Pyatov; Srna, Rakitskiy, Chygrynskiy (Kryvtsov 12), Raţ; Stepanenko, Fernandinho, Douglas Costa (Willian 46), Mkhitaryan, Alex Teixeira (Ilsinho 46); Luiz Adriano.

• Yaroslav Rakitskiy was sent off in the 48th minute as Shakhtar's 24-match winning run in the league came to an end. The defeat was the Pitmen's first in the Ukrainian top flight since a 2-1 loss to FC Metalist Kharkiv on 23 October 2011.

Team news
Dmytro Chygrynskiy suffered a thigh injury early on against Arsenal Kyiv, ruling him out of the trip to Denmark. Tomáš Hübschman is also absent with a thigh injury.

Match fact
• Nordsjælland are without a victory in ten European games, eight of which ended in defeat. Their last win was 2-1 at home to Queen of the South FC in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup second qualifying round.

Last updated: 28/08/15 23.06CETælland+learn+fast