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Auxerre 'not afraid' of revered Madrid

Jean Fernandez betrayed the excitement in the AJ Auxerre camp ahead of their meeting with "the biggest club in the world" as a Real Madrid CF side aiming to catch fire up front visit Burgundy.

Auxerre 'not afraid' of revered Madrid
Auxerre 'not afraid' of revered Madrid ©UEFA.com

AJ Auxerre coach Jean Fernandez cannot wait to get going against Real Madrid CF – "the biggest club in the world" – despite his side's shaky Ligue 1 start and opening UEFA Champions League Group G defeat at AC Milan. The visitors have struggled up front recently, but José Mourinho warned that "goals are going to come soon" as his team look to make it two wins out of two in the section.

Jean Fernandez, Auxerre coach
Real Madrid are the biggest club in the world. San Siro was very emotional, but this will be something else. To see all these great players – [Cristiano] Ronaldo, [Gonzalo] Higuaín, [Mesut] Özil, [Ángel] Di María – at Stade de l'Abbé-Deschamps will be a fantastic moment in my career as a manager. You mustn't have fear in football. After 20 minutes we were drawing with Milan, and after 40 minutes it was still even. Then we had an unmissable chance at the end of the first half. If we'd scored, maybe we would have come away with something from San Siro. That should give us confidence for the rest of the Champions League.

I am a little bit worried because of our recent results. We are not afraid of Madrid. We are a bit concerned but we are most of all excited to play against a big team like this. We are going to forget about the league.

José Mourinho, Madrid coach
I expect a difficult game. Auxerre are well organised; it will be difficult to play here. We need points to qualify and our objective is to gain three. It is a big pleasure to play here, at the house of Guy Roux. Congratulations to Jean Fernandez and his team for qualifying. We want to keep on playing like we did against Ajax, we are in a difficult group.

I know Auxerre and am happy to come here. For smaller clubs like this it is always a big occasion, and this is the case in Auxerre. It's a quality club. I hope they can enjoy and benefit from [being in the Champions League]. Ligue 1 is a good league. I like the French model for training players, physically and mentally. As for my team, yes, we've experienced a few difficulties in front of goal. We are excellent in all other areas, just cannot score, but I can tell you goals are going to come soon.

Team news
Ireneusz Jeleń (knee) and Anthony Le Tallec (ankle) missed Saturday's draw against AS Nancy-Lorraine, and while Jérémy Berthod had recovered from a groin injury, he was not selected. Alexandre Licata will be out until 2011 following surgery on an ankle problem and centre-back Jean-Pascal Mignot misses out because of a groin injury.

Sergio Canales was ruled out for three weeks after spraining his right ankle on 19 September and Kaká could miss the group stage having undergone surgery on his left knee in early August. Fernando Gago, Ezequiel Garay (both knee) and Raúl Albiol (ankle) are yet to play this season.

Weekend results
25/09/10 Auxerre 2-2 AS Nancy-Lorraine
(Oliech 1 11; Cuvillier 17, Vahirua 36)
Dennis Oliech's opener after 56 seconds was the quickest Ligue 1 goal of the season but Auxerre could not avoid a fifth draw of the campaign. They are still seeking their first win after seven Ligue 1 outings, their worst start to a season since 1986/87 when they finished fourth.

25/09/10 UD Levante 0-0 Madrid
Álvaro Arbeloa replaced the suspended Pepe and Sami Khedira came in for Lassana Diarra. Madrid are yet to lose in six games under Mourinho, though the stalemate ended a run of four successive wins.

Did you know?
Mourinho has won five and lost only one of nine previous matches against French clubs. His sole defeat came in the third round of FC Porto's victorious 2002/03 UEFA Cup campaign, the 1-0 loss at RC Lens not stopping Porto's progress 3-1 on aggregate.

See the match background for more information.

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