Francesco Guidolin insists Udinese’s Europa League play-off with Siroki tomorrow is crucial. “It’s like being in the Champions League.”
The Friulani travel to Bosnia for the first leg of their preliminary round with Siroki Brijeg, which kicks off at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT).
“In order to get through this round, we have to share the same mentality as our opponents,” warned Coach Guidolin.
“Siroki Brijeg dream of knocking us out, so we have to cling to our own dream of having a long journey in Europe this season.”
It is not something that has gone well for Udinese of late, as they lost the Champions League play-off for two years running and went out in the first round of the Europa League last term.
“We fought with great determination to earn this opportunity, as the final months of the Serie A campaign were extraordinary. Therefore we will face the Bosnian side at the top of our game, because we want to go through to the group phase.
“We prepared this challenge with the utmost respect for Siroki Brijeg, boning up on their characteristics and watching them both in person and on DVD. It’s the exact same approach we took to Arsenal two years ago. It’s like being in the Champions League.
“Are we the favourites this time? That doesn’t matter, as we will be highly motivated. I want to remind everyone that you don’t win games with words, but with action on the pitch. In modern football there’s no such thing as a hopeless opponent.”