Freund: No Park strife!
English Barclays Premiership
Steffen Freund is determined to avoid a repeat of last season's dismay in the Worthington Cup.
We travel to Second Division outfit Brentford for a second round, first leg encounter on Tuesday night with our disappointing exit at Fulham still fresh in the memory.
Then, as holders, the trophy slipped out of our grasp as Geoff Horsfield inspired Fulham to a 3-1 win in the third round.
"We were not good enough last season against Fulham," said our German midfielder. "Everyone was disappointed.
"We had a lot of success the year before in the Worthington Cup and then we lost in the first round of our defence. We played badly on the night but everyone knows now how strong Fulham are and I'm sure they will be in the Premiership next season.
"For me though it was still very disappointing and we have to make sure it doesn't happen again."
Playing over two legs usually helps the Premiership outfit in these circumstances but Brentford almost gave us a scare at the same stage of the competition before our Wembley triumph two seasons ago. Back in September 1998 the Bees went ahead in both legs - including a shock first-minute lead at the Lane - before we came through 3-2 on both occasions.
Freund added: "This season we start in the second round with two legs rather than in the third round and I hope we can play well at Brentford and start with a win.
"That will make the second leg easier at home next week. It will be difficult though because it is a smaller team and it is the game of the year for Brentford. We have to make sure we get it right ourselves."