ROBBO SEEKS REPEAT
Paul Robinson would happily take a repeat of his last meeting with Hapoel Tel Aviv.
Paul Robinson would happily take a repeat of his last meeting with Hapoel Tel Aviv.England’s number one faced Thursday night’s UEFA Cup group stage opponents with Leeds United in the second round of the same competition in the 2002-03 season and ran out 5-1 winners on aggregate.
Notably, Hapoel held out until the 82nd minute in the first leg at Elland Road when Harry Kewell struck to hand Leeds a crucial advantage.
Hapoel then took a second-minute lead to level the aggregate scores in the second leg played at Fiorentina’s Artemio Franchi Stadium before Alan Smith ran riot, scoring four goals to secure a 4-1 win on the night for Leeds, 5-1 overall.
“We won 5-1 on aggregate but Hapoel Tel Aviv were a decent team, hard-working and it was a tough game for us,” reflected Robbo.
“They are struggling at the wrong end of the table and I don’t think they’ve won a game this season, but it will be tough out there,” added the keeper, who has recent experience of football in Israel after playing in England’s 0-0 draw in Euro 2008 qualifying at the Ramat Gan Stadium in Tel Aviv in March.
“They love their football out there, they are passionate and they also love their Premier League football, so they’ll know all about us.
“I’m sure it will be a great atmosphere and hopefully we’ll get a win. We’ve got off to a poor start in the group and need to put it right. We have the games to do it and if we win them, we’ll go through to the next stage.”