Jacob Neestrup

Neestrup predicts tight clash with Galatasaray

F.C. Copenhagen head coach Jacob Neestrup says Tuesday's UEFA Champions League clash with Galatasaray will be a tight encounter in Parken, with progress to the last-16 up for grabs.

The Lions are level on points with Galatasaray but lead the Turkish side courtesy of a better goal difference. The teams drew 2-2 in Istanbul earlier in the season, and whoever wins this game would finish second in Group B.

A draw could even result in neither side progressing to the Champions League last-16 if Manchester United beat Bayern Munich.

And so Neestrup is well aware of the importance of the match, which is FCK's last outing before the winter break.

"The focus is on having a tight match tomorrow, where the gaps are smaller than they (Galatasaray) are used to. I say that with the greatest respect for the Turkish league," says Neestrup.

"That's how we got a result down there and that's how our approach has been in all our European games. Tight matches with small spaces, because then our team can show its strength against the absolute best teams in Europe.

"If an open game develops with large areas to exploit then Galatasaray will be better than us. But of course it may become necessary to open up if we have to chase a goal or two at some point. It also depends on how it goes in the other game in Manchester, and we will of course follow that as the games progress.

"Our recent results in the Superliga and the cup have lagged a bit, but we have previously been good at going out and performing strongly, regardless of how things had gone in recent games. What we have achieved so far in Europe, it cannot be done much better, and with everything that is at stake tomorrow both for the club, for Copenhagen and for Danish football, the players can ignore the recent matches when they going on the field tomorrow.

"We meet a team that, since the first game in Istanbul, has developed very well over the past few months. When we last met they had brought in quite a few new players, who they have integrated better into the team. They fully deserved to win in Manchester and they also played a really good game in Munich.

"They are a team we have the greatest respect for, and we also know that Parken has a special meaning for the club because they (Galatasaray) won their first European trophy here many years ago. But they were also here 10 years ago, where we beat them, and we want to do that again tomorrow. Then we'll be ready to continue playing in the Champions League after the New Year."