Paul Stalteri speaks from experience when he insists we cannot underestimate the challenge of an Anderlecht side playing on their own patch in the UEFA Cup tonight.
Paul Stalteri speaks from experience when he insists we cannot underestimate the challenge of an Anderlecht side playing on their own patch in the UEFA Cup tonight.The defender played twice for Werder Bremen against the Belgians in the Champions League back in 2004-05, the season before he moved to Spurs.
Bremen won both games but the results tell a story – the Bundesliga side had to fight for a 2-1 win in Brussels but stormed to a 5-1 victory at home.
“Yes, we won comfortably at home but I remember the away match was a lot tougher,” reflected Paul at Spurs Lodge before Wednesday’s trip out to Belgium. “At home, they are different side in European competition than they are on their travels.
“It’s a tight stadium, good atmosphere and a club with a big history - the biggest club in Belgium.
“They are always expected to fight for the championship so they have that mentality and the experience of winning trophies and winning matches at home.
“They’ve changed a lot since I played against them but it’s a side expected to win games, especially at home.”
We go into the game on six points and the recent history of the group stages of the UEFA Cup suggests that will be enough to progress to the last 32 – it has been in 23 of the 24 groups since they were introduced 2004-05.
However, Paul insists it certainly won’t be a case of just looking for a point tonight to make sure – he says we’re after the win.
“You don’t want to have the attitude that six points is enough and when you represent this club and this country in Europe you have to go out to win games," he said. "Nothing will change on Thursday, whether we had three, six or nine points, we go there with a winning mentality. That’s our job.”