Thursday, October 19, 2006

Gameday in England

Today is the day..........Fenerbahce takes on English side Newcastle United at 3 PM EST in England. Fener manager Zico is confident of his team's chances today at St. James Park, but he also realizes that the blame for Fener's slow start is placed solely on him. “I am responsible of everything about this team, I am the one to blame about unexpected results and performance we have experienced recently.”

Zico has also downplayed the magnitude of today's game. "It is a very important game, but it is definitely not the most difficult game in the group. Every game is difficult. It is an important game for Fenerbahce, but it is not the decisive game in the group. You can never predict how games are going to go in the league or in the cup. We have not started very well and Newcastle have not started well either. I would have hoped to start a little better, but every game is different."

Zico also discussed how important home-field advantage is and how Newcastle can use the St. James Park crowd tonight. "In the UEFA Cup, the home team has always got the advantage and is predicted to win. It is a great advantage to play at home, so I would say Newcastle are favourites. I do not want to mention any particular player, but Newcastle gave got a great pedigree and great talent in their squad, and I prefer to say the whole team is a threat rather than any individual player. The UEFA Cup is not the Champions League. In the Champions League, you have more favourites to win. Here, the teams are more equal and every team has got a chance."

One player who knows Newcastle well is Fenerbahce striker Mateja Kezman. Kezman played for English rivals Chelsea and has scored on Newcastle in the past.

Grzegorz Gilewski from Poland will be the referee for today's match. Maciej Wierzbowski and Rafał Rostkowski will be assisting him.


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