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* This interview took place shortly before Twente’s 0-2 home defeat to Ajax on Saturday.
1. 8 games into the new Dutch Eredivisie season and FC Twente are looking good in third position behind AZ and FC Groningen. How do you feel that your season is going?
The start of the season is very well, so far. We’ve only lost against FC Utrecht, that was after the match against Racing. Last season we end at the fourth place. In Holland do we have play-offs. The number two plays against the number five and three against four (home and away). The winners play for the Champions Leagueticket. We won of NAC Breda and Ajax. In the Champions League was Arsenal to strong. Yesterday we’ve play against NAC Breda, the number three last season (we won with 1-0). We haven’t play against the topclubs. Saturday we play against Ajax. We’re still in the third round Dutch Cup.
2. Who are FC Twente’s danger men and star players?
The defense of FC Twente is very solid, we have only six goals against (which three against Utrecht). In the last four games (including Santander) we have kept the ‘zero.’ Youngster Eljero Elia, left winger, is topscorer from FC Twente. He’s a quick player and technical. Our right winger, Romano Denneboom, is only quick, but he scored against Stade Rennais (first round, away match) and Racing Santander. Blaise Kufo is our international from Switzerland. He’s strong and has scored 86 competition goals in five seasons. This season he scored only one time, but he has experience and he scores against Rennais (home match). Rob Wielaert and Douglas Franco Teixeira (http://www.twentefans.nl/statistieken.php, go to the link to see more about them) are our strong central defenders. Sander Boschker is our keeper, he plays his whole life with FC Twente.
3. How is Steve McClaren performing in the eyes of the FC Twente fans? He does not have a great reputation with Manchester City fans because of his role with the Evil Empire at Manchester united and of course, had a terrible time as England manager.
Steve is doing well in our eyes with a 2nd place in the Eredivisie and with good results in Europe. He learns Twente to play ‘patient’ and he’s very passionate.
4. Time to travel to Man City. Smell the fear or relax with a Grolsch? What is your impression of Manchester’s one true football club?
Relax with a Grolsch, Twente is happy with the group stage but a ‘big underdog’, especially in Manchester. There’s a lot of respect for City, because players like Robinho are well known in Holland. Everybody knows about the investor, too. Also Micah Richards, Vincent Kompany, Elano, Wright-Phillips and Vassell are well-knowed players in Holland.
5. Which team do do you see as the main threat to your UEFA Cup Group A ambitions and how will teh group finish?
Schalke 04. Former Twente coach Fred Rutten is a good trainer and they have a very good team that won from PSG with 3-1. I think, 1. Schalke, 2. Manchester City, 3. FC Twente, 4. PSG and 5. Racing Santander.
6. You beat Racing Santander 1-0 in your opening group game. How did you play and what do you think of Racing?
We scored a fast goal and won easily. Twente was the better team and deserved the win, Santander didn’t create many chances and will have to improve when they want to make a chance in this group.
7. What is your prediction for Thursday’s result?
I hope a draw, but it will be difficult for us, City is the favourite, they must win. If we play the same as the home match against Arsenal or yesterday’s match against NAC Breda we have a chance. Let me say 1-1. We have three points and have a good point of departure.
– Many thanks and respect going out to Bjorn Huistede and the Twentefans team at http://www.twentefans.nl
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