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Newcastle test excites Sakhnin

Published: Saturday 28 August 2004, 0.13CET
uefa.com rounds up the reaction from the UEFA Cup first round draw, which has thrown up some great ties.
 
 
Published: Saturday 28 August 2004, 0.13CET

Newcastle test excites Sakhnin

uefa.com rounds up the reaction from the UEFA Cup first round draw, which has thrown up some great ties.

The UEFA Cup draw has thrown up some intriguing ties with one of the first-round highlights being the meeting of Israeli side Hapoel Bnei Sakhnin FC and Newcastle United FC, who reached last season's semi-finals.

'Historic and amazing'
Sakhnin, the first Arab club to play in Europe, are thrilled with the prospect of meeting Alan Shearer and company. Speaking to uefa.com, defender Ernest Etchi said: This is an historic and amazing draw. To play against one of England's biggest clubs is monumental. It is what you play football for." Newcastle chief executive Russell Cushing said the team were determined to improve on last season. He said: "We narrowly missed the final last year and want to do better than that this year."

uefa.com rounds up reaction from other leading ties:

FC Schalke 04 v FHK Liepajas Metalurgs

It could have been worse. We have to take it as it is. It is a good chance to reach the group stage. This is the aim of the whole team. If everyone shows a good attitude in the games against Liepajas, we will succeed. Schalke captain Frank Rost

Of course Schalke are the undisputed favourites in this tie, but there's always hope. It is a pity that we'll play the first leg away from home. I hope we will keep something alive for the second leg in Liepaja. Metalurgs coach Viktor Lukin.

FC Utrecht v Djurgårdens IF

If you look at the circumstances of the draw, we are glad to get Djurgården. We're happy to be going to Sweden. Looking at the sporting side, we are confident but we know it will not be easy to progress. We have quite similar styles of football and we're happy to be going to a country with the same culture. Utrecht chairman Martin Sturkenboom

We have just met the Utrecht representatives and they are good people. They have a renovated modern stadium and Holland is a great country to go to. Djurgården spokesman Henrik Berggren

FC Steaua Bucuresti v PFC CSKA Sofia

CSKA Sofia is a respected and respectable name in Bulgaria and abroad. I don't know if this draw is good or not for us. Obviously our objective is to qualify for the UEFA Cup group stage. Steaua coach Walter Zenga

Steaua are a club with great history in Europe. So are CSKA Sofia. It is good that we will not be playing against Newcastle United or Sporting [Clube de Portugal]. I have played against many Romanian clubs and they are always very dangerous and disciplined. I think we have a good chance. CSKA coach Ferario Spasov

Millwall FC v Ferencvárosi TC

We are delighted with the draw. They are the hardest team we could have got in our pot. We're just delighted to be in the competition and to be in the draw is a major plus for Millwall. Millwall chief executive Ken Brown

It will be a popular draw for our fans as English football is very popular in Hungary. But English teams are always very strong and we will have to see what we can do. Ferencváros sporting director Ignác Tepszics

Rangers FC v CS Marítimo

Rangers are a very tough team with a remarkable history. Certainly with their honours they are a much bigger club than Marítimo and so have a head start in this sense. We could say Rangers have a 55 per cent chance. Looking at Rangers, we can see we'll have problems. But I am sure Rangers will realise that we have a good team too and can cause them problems. Marítimo president Carlos Pereira

It's a big game because there's a lucrative stage at the other side with guaranteed matches. There's no doubt that going out to [PFC] CSKA [Moskva in the UEFA Champions League] was a big setback for the supporters, for the club and indeed the manager and his team. But if we get a run in the UEFA Cup, I am sure it can prove an exciting tournament. Rangers director of football Martin Bain

Sevilla FC v CD Nacional

Nacional have got good players and finished fourth in the Portuguese league last season so we'll have to respect them. It's nine years since we were in the UEFA Cup and we're excited about getting through this round and qualifying for the group stage. Sevilla vice-president José Castro Carmona

I wasn't expecting such a strong opponent. Both on Spanish and international terms, Sevilla are a team with lots of credentials. It will be very tough for us, a debutant in European football, to eliminate this Spanish side. We will try to see on the pitch whether we can overcome this adversity. Nacional coach Casimiro Mior

 
Last updated: 28/08/04 1.15CET

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