FC Twente coach Michel Preud’homme admitted he was wary of Inter Milan’s strike-force ahead of his team’s Champions League group stage debut against the title-holders on Tuesday.
The Dutch champions have been given a baptism of fire in the competition with champions Inter Milan the visitors to the De Grolsch Veste stadium.
And the former Belgium goalkeeper is not kidding himself about the size of the task facing his unfancied team.
“Inter are a great team with great attacking ability,” he said Monday. “They change the game, the full-backs get forward, the defence pushes up and it’s difficult to find an opening to hurt them.
“Every which way, though, we’ll try to find a way to put them under pressure.”
Although conscious of Inter’s presence up front, the 51-year-old ruled out paying special attention to Inter’s Dutch playmaker Wesley Sneijder.
“I don’t think the game will be about neutralising Sneijder, Inter have many good forwards and we won’t be focussing only on him.”
However, Preud’homme claimed the game will not just be about Inter and Twente trying to stop them.
“We’ll try to exploit our qualities. We’re not just an attacking team, we’re also well organised. We’ll try to find the right balance.
“I think we have the right balance between attack and defence, we’ve proved that in the league and we hope to show it also in the Champions League.”
The Belgian is in a similar position to Inter counter-part Rafael Benitez having taken over from former England boss Steve McClaren at the start of the season.
And although he says he knew Benitez’s predecessor well, he doesn’t know much about the Spaniard.
“I know (Jose) Mourinho well as I met him in Portugal (as a player) but Benitez also has his weapons and potential,” he said.
“You don’t get his job just like that, only through hard work. Both he and I have taken over teams that won their domestic league and have to respect the culture and traditions of our clubs.”
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