McClaren: Twente Have Nothing To Lose

Steve McClaren feels that his FC Twente side will go into their Champions League third qualifying round tie against Arsenal with nothing to lose because they are not expected to win.

FC Twente are "very big underdogs" to get past Arsenal in their Champions League qualifier, having put themselves in contention for a Group Stage place by beating Ajax in the Eredivisie play-offs.

As former Middlesbrough and England manager, Steve McClaren is fully aware off what Arsenal can do, and under no illusion about how tough it will be to get the better of Arsene Wenger’s young team.

And ahead of Wednesday’s first leg at the Gelredome in Arnhem, McClaren told journalists: “Arsenal are one of the strongest teams we could have met.

"They are among the favourites to win the competition.

"But for our young team it will be something special. The young players can get a lot of experience in these big matches. Not only now but with one eye on the future.

"In the two matches against Arsenal we are not just the underdogs, but we are very big underdogs.

"Nobody will expect FC Twente to beat Arsenal. We have nothing to lose."

McClaren has been delighted with Twente since taking over at Enschede, saying:

"I am really impressed by the organisation of FC Twente.

"I see people who are working for the club with passion and want to go further.

"On the pitch I found a group with a very good fitness level, so we could immediately work on the performance.

"The target was immediately pointed on the future.

"Looking back to last season [when they finished fourth for the second campaign running] is useless. That was the first thing I made clear to the squad. You cannot live on the success you had before.

"We want to go on down the line that brought success before and that is what we are working on now."

Twente's former Middlesbrough midfielder, the Australian Luke Wilkshire, said of this week’s Champions League qualifier: "At the draw it soon became clear we would get a strong opponent and Arsenal is certainly that.

"They are one of Europe's best and they will be two very difficult matches for us.

"Of course we are the underdogs but in football anything is possible."

Twente go into the game without Youssouf Hersi, who is short of match fitness, and Swiss striker Blaise N'Kufo, who is suspended.

McClaren: Twente Have Nothing To Lose Reviewed by admin Ucop on 6:51 AM Rating: 5

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