Knocked out in the round of 16 last term, Antoine Kombouaré and Paris Saint-Germain FC are at ease with suggestions that the big spending Ligue 1 club are among the favourites for this season's UEFA Europa League.
PSG spent heavily on the likes of Kevin Gameiro, Jérémy Menez and, most lavishly, Javier Pastore during the summer following their summer takeover, and consequently are expected to be among the frontrunners to reach the Bucharest final.
Looking ahead to the capital club's latest tilt at European competition, which begins against FC Salzburg in Group F, Kombouaré conceded as much when he said "it's only natural" that they aim to better their run in 2010/11, which was ended by SL Benfica in the last 16.
"Last season we tried to win every competition, despite our small squad," said the PSG coach, whose only fitness concern is over Clément Chantôme. "Tomorrow's match is the real start of this competition. We'll try and build from the experiences of last season, but this is a new tournament, which we start with a lot of humility."
Sylvain Armand, a PSG player since 2004, echoed those sentiments when he described this "as the best side we've had", adding the caveat: "at least on paper, but last season we already had a great team." He continued: "Let's hope we can start this competition well and go as far as possible with this 'new PSG'."
Salzburg are happy to assume the role of underdogs at the Parc des Princes, where the French side are 16 games unbeaten in UEFA club competition, but will not be cowed by their opponents' expensively assembled squad. "PSG don't lack quantity or quality," said coach Ricardo Moniz, who is waiting on the fitness of midfielder Jakob Jantscher and striker Stefan Maierhofer (calf).
"However, we don't fear them −
we never fear any club. We won't back down, don't expect us to only defend. We will play our game, try to be creative, take the initiative and create chances."
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