Tour of duty for Kolo
- Wed 15 Sep 2010, 10:45AM
- Posted by David Clayton
Kolo Toure likes to keep a watching brief on the Blues’ opposition, particularly those from overseas, so the Ivorian defender believes he is up to speed on FC Salzburg.
Kolo admits he watches as much European football as he can and has seen enough of City’s Austrian opponents to know the opening group stage clash will be not be easy.
“I know quite a bit about Salzburg – are they a good team? Of course they are and they will be difficult, particularly in their own stadium,” he said.
“I’ve watched a lot of Austrian football and Salzburg move the ball around well, are technically good and have a physical element to their game – it should be a great match and I think that, because of our profile, each time we play in Europe it will be a kind of cup final for the home team.
“Everyone wants to beat us, but we need to begin the group stages with a good result, so we’ll be ready.”
Kolo says the Blues have to ignore the picturesque landscape and beauty of the country because the home fans will want to make it as partisan as possible once the game begins.
“I’ve played a number of pre-season games in Austria over the years and it’s a very nice place to visit and I’ve always enjoyed my time there,” he said.
“Their fans will be noisy and get behind Salzburg from the kick off so we know it will be a good atmosphere – we have to make sure they don’t get too much momentum and we will aim to keep the home fans quiet.
“We have a good squad and we’ve won our first two Europa League games by being clinical when we needed to be and by paying our opponents respect and we will do the same in Austria.
Any team that makes it to this stage has to be taken seriously and, if we needed a reminder, Salzburg won their league last season. Lech Poznan and Juventus will both be tough opponent as well so it’s important we get points on the board quickly
“We know there will be perhaps even stronger teams coming in after the Champions League sides enter in the later rounds, but we have as much chance as anyone else of winning the competition if we play as we know we can.
“First of all, we need to negate the group stages and get to the knockout phase, take each round as it comes and see where it takes us.”