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HUGHTON'S NOTES

Posted on 8 March 2007  - 12:00

Chris Hughton assesses the challenge that will be presented by Braga in the UEFA Cup last 16 contest tonight...

Chris Hughton assesses the challenge that will be presented by Braga in the UEFA Cup last 16 contest tonight...WHEN I SAW Braga they operated in a 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1 system playing against a Parma team that played three at the back, four in midfield and three up front - that was Claudio Ranieri's first game in charge of Parma.

Parma were very disciplined and Braga found it quite hard to break them down. In the end they won 1-0 with the goal coming ten minutes before the final whistle. It wasn't a classic game, but you felt there was more to come from Braga and that they were the more offensive team out of the two.

I know in recent games Braga have changed their shape a little bit, but I would imagine they would come out against us in a 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1 formation.

I can only assess how strong this opposition will be in relation to ourselves and if we can perform as we have done in European games up to now then I feel we've got a great chance of going through.

Sometimes it can be a big dangerous when you see a team play and they don't perform as well as you expected. I can remember going out to see Slavia Prague when they won 3-0 and I wasn't overly impressed with them. But once we started going through the tapes of their games they started to look better and better.

You don't want to get too caught up in that type of thing, it is a European game and a massive one for both teams and one that I suspect will be very tough.

The stadium is magnificent because it is so unusual. There are only two sides, behind one goal it is fairly open and behind the other one you have a rock face, which I have never seen anywhere before.

Going into the main stand you have to get a lift down into the stand and it is fairly incredible. I was built for Euro 2004 and I think they wanted to make a big impression with this stadium.

The Braga support is very vocal, our travelling fans will be here in numbers as always. and the atmosphere will be very good on the night.