Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sevilla Must Put Rangers Before Real Madrid - Andres Palop

Andres Palop believes that Sevilla must forget all about playing Real Madrid at the weekend and focus only on beating Rangers at Ibrox in midweek.



The Spain international goalkeeper admits that the media and fans are talking about the match against Los Merengues, but he thinks that Champions League outing is more important.

Sevilla take on Rangers on Tuesday night and Pelop is desperate to help the Andalucian outfit secure their second win of the group stage.

"We must beat Rangers at Ibrox to ensure we get a foot in the knockout rounds of the Champions League," he was quoted as saying by The Daily Record.

"We know we are the favourites in our group but now we have to prove it on the field. We have two away games now - against Rangers and Stuttgart - and we expect to win both of them. Our mindset is to play a good game in Scotland. We will give everything and we are very motivated.

"We know the match will be difficult because Rangers are a team that presses the ball a lot. But we know how to cause them harm," he added.

"Everybody in Spain wants to speak about playing Real Madrid and it is a game we are relishing.

"But we don't play them until Sunday. Right now we are trying only to think about Rangers. As of Wednesday, we will have enough time to focus and prepare for Real, for Kaka and for Ronaldo.

"Just now it has to be Rangers, Rangers, Rangers. We have come to Glasgow to win and we don't want to go home disappointed."

Palop was a key figure in Sevilla's back-to back UEFA Cup wins under Juande Ramos and has particularly fond memories of beating Espanyol at Hampden Park in 2007.

"I consider Glasgow my second home, because it has so many special memories for me," he continued.

"I saved the crucial penalty in the shoot-out against Espanyol to help us win the UEFA Cup and that will live with me for the rest of my life.

"I'm so happy to be back here with the best Sevilla team in history. We are playing at an incredibly high level at the moment and the only thing on our minds is winning the match in Glasgow.

"Our recent results in La Liga have been fantastic, yet it is still possible for us to improve.

"I believe it is time for Barcelona and Real Madrid to start taking us seriously because we have already demonstrated we are just as good as them.

"Our first game of the season when we lost against Valencia was a blip but now you are seeing the real Sevilla. We have won five games in a row.

"It will take another exceptional performance to win at Ibrox. Rangers are poor when they travel to another city but they are very strong in Glasgow.

"But if we play to our top level then we will win the match. It's as simple as that."

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