FCK and Wiland lifted by Parken surroundings
Thursday, October 31, 2013
After successive Group B away losses, FC København host Galatasaray AŞ on Tuesday in a stadium where goalkeeper Johan Wiland says the Lions always feel "strong".
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Having kept goal in back-to-back away defeats in Group B, FC København's Johan Wiland is looking forward to UEFA Champions League football returning to Parken on matchday four – confident the Lions can gain the necessary result against Galatasaray AŞ to ignite their campaign.
The Swedish international was the star turn as FCK drew 1-1 at home to Juventus last month, thwarting the Bianconeri with save after save. Since then, however, Ståle Solbakken's side have been beaten 4-0 by Real Madrid CF and, last Wednesday, succumbed 3-1 to the Turkish title holders in Istanbul.
Those setbacks have left København bottom of the section – three points behind second-placed Galatasaray – but with home advantage and their supporters behind them next week, the 32-year-old insists all is not lost. "We know we are strong at Parken and we know when we run onto that pitch it helps you believe in yourself," he told UEFA.com.
"That's very important – to have that feeling when you play at home, to feel you have a chance of taking a point or even winning a match against those big teams we are up against. It's very important to have that confidence playing on your home ground in these big tournaments."
FCK's home record in Europe's premier competition certainly gives Wiland and company cause for optimism. In eight matches, they have lost only to Chelsea FC (2010/11 round of 16 first leg), while beating Manchester United FC (2006/07) and FC Rubin Kazan (2010/11) and drawing with FC Barcelona (2010/11) in the Danish capital.
For Galatasaray, though, the venue holds special memories: in 2000, a Fatih Terim-led team overcame Arsenal FC there on penalties in the UEFA Cup final after 120 goalless minutes. Ensuring Cimbom are not celebrating again on Tuesday is the former IF Elfsborg stopper's priority.
"We certainly hope so," he said. "That's what we aim to do in every game, to surprise a bit and show we are a good football team. Footballers like us dream of putting some of these big players and teams in their place – that would be awesome. That's what we train for every day. It's a very difficult thing to pull off, but if we all have a great day and do it together, then we are able to make it difficult for our opponents."