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Step by step

Posted on 18 September 2008  - 12:00

Juande Ramos is taking it one game at a time in the UEFA Cup.

Step by step

Juande Ramos is taking it one game at a time in the UEFA Cup.

This season's competition looks as strong as ever with the likes of AC Milan, Ajax, Borussia Dortmund, CSKA Moscow, Galatasaray, Napoli, Schalke 04, Valencia, Feyenoord, Benfica, Seville and Paris SG all lining-up.

The Premier League will also have a say with Villa, City, Everton and Pompey joining us in the first round this week.

We kick-off against Polish side Wisla Krakow in the first round, first leg at the Lane on Thursday night.

Juande won the competition in successive seasons with Sevilla. "Every season the teams are strong and it's a very difficult competition to win," said Juande. "At this moment, there are very good teams but when the Champions League groups finish, the third-placed teams then arrive in the UEFA Cup.

"You can only really think match to match. You can't think ahead to the final, semi-final - we need to play one match at a time and first, try to get into the group stage."

Wisla have won the Polish title six times in the last 10 seasons and were champions by a huge 15-point margin last term. They were beaten 4-1 on aggregate by Barcelona in the third qualifying round of the Champions League but beat the Catalan giants 1-0 on home soil.

"They play in Europe every year and the last round against Barcelona will be a great experience for them," added Juande. "Every match in Europe is difficult. The first moments will be important. If we control the match and hopefully score first it will be ideal.

"It's a very important match for us. We need a good win for the confidence of the players and the confidence of the fans. The players have trained well and we have a good feeling for this game."