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INSIDE TRACK

Posted on 19 October 2006  - 12:00

Steed Malbranque is well qualified to assess the challenge likely to be faced by the lads in Istanbul tonight.

Steed Malbranque is well qualified to assess the challenge likely to be faced by the lads in Istanbul tonight.

Our opening UEFA Cup group stage opponents are managed by his countryman and former boss at Fulham, Jean Tigana.

Besiktas have enjoyed a decent start to their domestic Super League season, sitting third in the standings with five wins from 9 games (one draw) and Steed believes the footballing philosophy of the French international great should ensure an encounter which is pleasing on the eye.

"Jean Tigana likes his teams to play good football and nearly always on the ground - he doesn't like his teams playing the ball in the air," said the player who arrived in England from Lyon in 2001.

"He wants a lot of movement from his players, pass and move is his style of coaching. The goalkeeper rarely kicks long as Jean likes his keepers to roll the ball to the defenders and for the team to build up from the back.

"He was a top player and is a great manager as well - a very intelligent man who loves good football. Of course I would like to be playing in this game and it is a disappointment not to be, but hopefully I will get to play in the next European game."