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Coach Lorenz-Günther Köstner promised VfL Wolfsburg were in for the long haul as they look to fight back from 2-1 down against Fulham FC, insisting on total commitment for as long as it takes to reach the UEFA Europa League semi-finals.
Alexander Madlung's late header at Craven Cottage last week gave the German champions a crucial foothold in the quarter-finals, and their coach is determined to make full use of that little bit of luck. "That last-minute goal brought us back into the tie," said the 58-year-old Köstner, who replaced Armin Veh in January. "Now we must show real desire to achieve something exceptional. We are all willing to give everything until the very end, whether that is 90 minutes, 120 or until after the penalty shoot-out."
Defender Madlung and team captain Josué both trained on the eve of the game, but the former in particular is rated doubtful for the match itself. However, while those potential absences would limit Wolfsburg's defensive options, Köstner believes he now has the measure of the Premier League side after a series of lapses at Craven Cottage lead to Bobby Zamora and Damien Duff scoring in the space of four second-half minutes.
"We are well prepared for Fulham," he said. "
In the first leg we saw some weaknesses in their team which we did not exploit. This time we want to do better. We had Zamora well under control in the first leg up until their two goals, so we have to do better this time around. We will not take risks from the start, though. We have to be sensible."
Fulham, meanwhile, will be without injured midfielder Clint Dempsey and have concerns over Zamora's fitness too, as the striker is struggling with an Achilles injury. Team-mate Brede Hangeland said: "He's a key player and we don't look the same when he's not playing. Hopefully he'll be back and 100% fit to give their defence a few problems."
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