First Knockout round – 2nd leg (First leg: Fenerbahce 3-2 Sevilla)
Sevilla coach Manuel Jimenez believes his side must show intelligence tonight if they are to come back from 3-2 down to beat Fenerbahce in the first knockout round decider.
Jimenez has asked his players to temper their attacking instincts and think before they act.
“We’ll have to be intelligent because our opponents also want to qualify,” he said. “It’s all very well attacking, however that can rebound on you if you don’t have the intelligence to stop the opposition from counterattacking. We mustn’t give in to euphoria.”
“If Fenerbahçe are slight favourites because of the scoreline, we certainly don’t feel inferior to them or anyone else,” added Jiménez. “We all just need to work harder because a draw won’t be enough. If we can go through, it would be important not only for the club but also for the city and Spanish football.”
A record of three wins from three group-stage games at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuan ought to boost confidence, although Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Deportivo La Coruna ended a five-match unbeaten league run. However, tonight, in-form striker Luis Fabiano, Diego Capel, Seydou Keita and Adriano will all return after being rested. Centre-backs Ivica Dragutinovic and Julien Escude should be fit again too, with Aquivaldo Mosquera on stand-by if Dragutinovic fails a late fitness test.
The loss of Fenerbahce defender Roberto Carlosis a blow to coach Zico.
“He is fundamental for us because of his contribution on and off the pitch,” admitted Zico. “We can’t think about that, though. We have to go out and fight to the end. We won’t play with a defensive attitude because we don’t know how. I just don’t have the players for that. They can’t give up their attacking instincts.”
Zico is looking for an improved performance from the team following last week’s Turkish Cup defeat by neighbours Galatasaray.
“That was a different competition,” he said. “We are well-placed in this tie, we’ll give everything and if we don’t qualify, nobody will be able to complain. That will just mean Sevilla were the better team.”