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Fink puts Basel on the attack

Published: Wednesday 16 December 2009, 8.57CET
Although a draw will put FC Basel 1893 in the round of 32 at Fulham FC's expense, coach Thorsten Fink maintained "attack is the best form of defence" as he prepared for a Group E showdown.
by Mark Bennett
from Basel
Fink puts Basel on the attack
Thorsten Fink says Basel have no intention of playing for a point against Fulham ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

BaselFulham

Goals scored10
 
22
Attempts on target68
 
100
Attempts off target0
14
Corners39
 
54
Offsides25
 
61
Fouls committed99
 
202
Yellow cards11
 
24
Red cards0
4

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SSI Err
 
Published: Wednesday 16 December 2009, 8.57CET

Fink puts Basel on the attack

Although a draw will put FC Basel 1893 in the round of 32 at Fulham FC's expense, coach Thorsten Fink maintained "attack is the best form of defence" as he prepared for a Group E showdown.

Although a draw will put FC Basel 1893 in the round of 32 at Fulham FC's expense, coach Thorsten Fink maintained "attack is the best form of defence" as he prepared for a Group E showdown.

Formbook advantage
The formbook suggests that Basel should have a reasonably comfortable time in their final UEFA Europa League group stage game. They have won all five of their European home games this season comfortably, while their guests have yet to win on their travels in the group stage. Fink, meanwhile, is not about to rein in his side's attacking instincts at St. Jakob-Park. "We want to play our game which is keeping possession and creating chances," said the former FC Bayern München midfielder. "We have been in excellent form at home and will not play for a draw. I still believe attack is the best form of defence."

Final fling
Wednesday's encounter will be Basel's last game of 2009, but the 42-year-old insisted his side are sharp and ready to compete with no thoughts of holidays on their minds. "If somebody had told us at the start of the group stage we would still have everything to play for in our final match, we would have taken it," said Fink. "It is our last match before the winter break and I promise you we are taking Fulham very seriously. We want to qualify for the next round."

Hodgson upbeat
Fulham boss Roy Hodgson is equally keen to leave an impression on his return to Switzerland, where he previously coached Neuchâtel Xamax FC and Grasshopper-Club as well as the national side. Striker Andy Johnson will miss the match with a groin injury, but the 62-year-old remained upbeat. "We have a good squad to choose from and I am very pleased with our performances in Europe so far," he said. "It is an exciting end to the group stage with two teams fighting for a place in the next round. I am looking forward to the game and I know my players will give it their best."

Murphy Memories
Midfielder Danny Murphy, who won this competition with Liverpool FC in its previous incarnation, echoed his coach's opinion. "I have great memories of winning the UEFA Cup," said the 32-year-old. "Our journey in Europe this season has been great for Fulham as a club and the players because they have not had this experience before. Hopefully it will continue after tomorrow."

Last updated: 16/12/09 19.07CET

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