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MARTIN ON EURO JOURNEY

Posted on 12 June 2007  - 12:00

Martin Jol believes our return to European football last season provided many special nights and he is looking forward to more of the same next term.

Martin Jol believes our return to European football last season provided many special nights and he is looking forward to more of the same next term.Our UEFA Cup journey took us to Prague, Istanbul, Leverkusen and Braga before we suffered our only defeat in the competition out in Seville against the team who went on to claim the trophy.

It was a memorable cup run, with full houses at the Lane and thousands following the team on their travels. However, Martin reflected that perhaps he should have spared a few moments on each occasion to take in the experience.

"In hindsight I tell myself that I should have enjoyed it more," said the manager. "You want to win so much and, at the time, I was putting myself under pressure to get the right results and then prepare the team again for the next game three days later.

"It was not easy but, looking back, a special game was Besiktas when they applauded us off the pitch. It was an amazing atmosphere.

"In Leverkusen we had a terrific game and Slavia Prague was a big challenge for us because it was our first game and you couldn't be sure of their qualities even after seeing them.

"At the Lane we had great games until it came to an end against Sevilla, who ended up winning the UEFA Cup. For me, the evidence was there that we are almost as good as these sort of teams and maybe we are as good as them.

"We should be confident, what we have said is that we only see green lights and not red ones. We just want to keep pushing forward," added Martin, who believes the squad will be better equipped for the Euro-challenge next time around.

"If your squad is strong - and we will try to have an even stronger squad next season - the players will improve and gain more experience. If we can leave out the mistakes we will get the results."

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