Date: 25th February 2007 at 2:13pm
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With tensions already building ahead of the cup clash with Alkmaar, some might say Louis van Gaal has taken a bit of a sly dig at the Newcastle manager. Criticising our league position he modestly said that Alkmaar are favourites and should go through:

“Newcastle are strong opponents. They are not high up in the Premiership but they are playing very well in Europe. But I believe we are favourites and will go through not only to the last eight, but can go all the way in the UEFA Cup.I know all about Newcastle; from the start of the knock-out stages, I have been watching videos and I now know every detail about them.

I think there will be plenty of goals across the two matches, and we are superior in that aspect. Not many teams score five in two games against Fenerbahce. But the key to the game will be in defence, and I have more confidence in AZ there too. I look at Newcastle and I do not understand their inferior form in the Premier League. A club with men like Solano, Martins, Dyer and Butt must be in a better position in the table.’