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Juve, Alessio look to forget rare loss

Angelo Alessio says Juventus are determined to return to the winners’ circle in their clash with Nordsjaelland on Wednesday.

Having lost their 49-game unbeaten Serie A record on Saturday to Inter Milan, Juve return to Champions League action on against Danish opponents Nordsjaelland, who held them to a 1-1 draw last month.

Alessio is hoping it is a different story when the teams clash in Turin on Wednesday.

“As we have already said, we should win tomorrow’s match, therefore we’ll enter the pitch with the right determination in order to achieve a positive result,” Alessio said.

“We shouldn’t think of anything else tomorrow, we should only be determined to win this match.

“Of course we’d like to qualify from this stage of the Champions League as it represents an improvement for us.

“According to (Manchester City boss Roberto) Mancini, many years are necessary to win the Champions League, and according to (PSG coach Carlo) Ancelotti, four or five years are necessary to win this competition, therefore we should not forget where we have started.

“There are many players in our team who are playing in this competition for the first time. Of course we’d like to qualify and to do this, we have to win tomorrow but again, we should not forget where we have started.”

Nordsjaelland coach Kasper Hjulmand, meanwhile, believes his club can make a name for themselves on the big stage.

Their heroic draw against Juve in the last round of fixtures meant Nordsjaelland gained their first point in Group E, with Mikkel Beckmann grabbing their first ever goal in Europe’s top tournament.

And although it looks unlikely the Farum-based side will reach the latter stages of the competition this term, Hjulmand believes their progress can only be positive for the future.

“Our image has developed,” Hjulmand said.

“From being a little local team who were fighting to survive in the Superliga to a team on a regional and national level who are playing in Europe.”

Nordsjaelland midfielder Nicolai Stokholm took a similar stance to his coach and claimed his side are already reaping the benefits of playing European football.

“This is the biggest stage you can play on,” the 36-year old said.

“Performing against the best players can only improve us, which it is already doing. I’m sure we’ll keep improving and keep learning how to play our games.”

Tue 6 November, 2012
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