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Mattersburg moving mountains

Modest SV Mattersburg are looking to earn a second successive season in European football as they take on FK Austria Wien in tonight's Austrian Cup final.

Modest SV Mattersburg are looking to earn a second successive season in European football as they take on FK Austria Wien in tonight's Austrian Cup final.

Situation reversed
Beaten by the Violets in last season's showpiece, the Burgenland club will be hoping to take revenge tonight and earn a second bite at the UEFA Cup having qualified for the 2006/07 competition in the cup holders' slot after Austria claimed the league title. That situation could be reversed this season. With Mattersburg enjoying a six-point cushion in second place in the league behind champions FC Salzburg, Austria could earn a UEFA Cup berth regardless of tonight's result despite lying sixth in the ten-team table.

Europe beckons
Based in a town with a population of just 7,000, 70km south of Vienna, Mattersburg have been boasting average home crowds of over 10,000 and getting great results in a season in which giants like SK Rapid Wien and Austria have struggled. Having lost their only European tie to date - going down to Wisla Kraków in this season's UEFA Cup second qualifying round - Franz Lederer's side are primed to battle with the continent's best again.

Able lieutenants
Two years ago the club from Austria's easternmost province had high hopes for the future with president Martin Pucher - who is also president of the Austrian Bundesliga - hiring renowned coach Mushin Ertugral. However, when the new coach did not settle, Lederer was called in as his temporary replacement but ended up having a signifcant impact on the squad. Winning promotion in his first season, Lederer masterminded the charge to the cup final last season and has reached a whole new level in 2006/07 thanks in part to his able lieutenants on the field, veteran playmaker Dietmar Kühbauer and his protégé Michael Mörz. The 43-year-old coach said: "It was necessary to have a voice on the pitch."

Career highlight
Well drilled in defence, Mattersburg boast power up front too. Regarded as talented but troubled elsewhere, Macedonian striker Ilco Naumoski has shone since joining the club in 2005, while the addition of 32-year-old former Germany striker Carsten Jancker in January added a little more to Mattersburg's armoury. They showed their potential to the full in coming back from 2-0 down against Salzburg to win their Austrian Cup semi-final 3-2 in a match Lederer called "the best of my career so far". Victory against Austria tonight would surely put even that great performance in the shade.