Francesco Guidolin warns Udinese they cannot make a mistake in their Europa League play-off with Siroki. “It’s incredibly important.”
The Friulani must go through the preliminary round if they are to reach the group phase of the competition.
They travel to Bosnia against Siroki Brijeg on August 1 and play the second leg at the Stadio Nereo Rocco in Trieste on August 8.
“We’ve got a limited squad at the moment and will be testing out essentially the starting XI for the Europa League when we face Atalanta today,” Guidolin told Messaggero Veneto ahead of the friendly.
“It is a tough test against a Serie A opponent, as our summer has been structured around reaching our best form in just a month of pre-season training.
“We’ve had less time to prepare than in previous years, which is why we tried to combine the needs of fitness work with keeping the players in shape for the preliminary round.”
Last year Udinese lost the Champions League play-off on penalties, but this time around they are targeting the Europa League.
“From what we’ve seen of Siroki, they seem a tough, vivacious and well-organised side. Any team can put us under pressure in the right circumstances, so our key words are eyes open, respect and utmost seriousness when preparing for the game. This result is incredibly important.
“I don’t know how much of a difference it could make that Siroki have already started their season. I have to focus on my own players and I’m well aware it is going to be a sporting battle.
“It won’t be a walk in the park after just 30 days of pre-season training.”