Date: 17th July 2006 at 1:03pm
Written by:

… he knows European qualification is a MUST as far as the 2006/7 campaign is concerned.

Given: ‘The game at Lillestrom is a massive one for us. It has got to be up there with the most important European games, such as the Champions League qualifiers, because we haven’t got the (new) players in yet and it’s one of the carrots (needed) to do that, to help the manager and the chairman persuade top players to come to the club. It rests on our shoulders to get the club into Europe. The UEFA Cup could create a cash windfall for the club which would be good for next season. It would have a snowball effect, a roll-on effect, and it is a massive thing for us.

‘There is a lot riding on the next week. I personally really missed European football last season and it seemed as though there was something missing when you played on a Saturday, and then didn’t play again until the following weekend.

‘It seemed as though there was too much time during the week and not too much to do, and I’m sure the fans felt the same. There was a big gap.

‘European football means everything to the players. For three or four months last season we pushed really hard to get over the finishing line to get into this position – we are one game away from reaching the UEFA Cup and all that hard work would go out of the window if we didn’t qualify from here. It would be easier for the manager and chairman to attract players if we can get through.’