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Silberbauer rallies Utrecht squad
Published : 19 Aug 2010 08:24:00
Utrecht captain Michael Silberbauer has challenged his team-mates to step up to the plate in Thursday night's Europa League clash at Celtic. The Dutch side have comfortably defeated both SK Tirana and Lucerne over two legs already in the competition but face their toughest challenge yet against the Glasgow giants, who crashed out of the Champions League at the qualifying stage. Both sides will now battle for a place in the group stages of the Europa League and Silberbauer - one of the clubs' most experienced campaigners - insists these are the sort of games where reputations can be forged. He said: "This is a team that is getting stronger by the month, it's a young team that has to develop and these sort of games are the games that are going to build them up more for the future. "Of course, I will try to help when I can but everyone has to step up on their own and show that they can play at a higher level than normal. "Any matches like these at European level are the matches you do want to play in and they are something you look forward to throughout the year." Utrecht coach Ton du Chatinier has already been given the low-down on Neil Lennon by Silberbauer, who played against the Celtic boss for FC Copenhagen in the Champions League in 2006. And du Chatinier fully expects a physical battle when both teams meet tonight. He said: "Celtic have the strength and they work with the heart. The coach is telling them 'when we start a game, we are going into war.' "I talked with Michael and he has played against the coach and on the field he was also a terrible player to play against. He was always very hard and I think we can expect that here. "The players will look at the internet and see what kind of club Celtic is. Of course, we will warn them about the audience they will get here but I think that's normal before we start a game against Celtic." Du Chatinier fully expects his side to progress to the group stages of the Europa League - even if they suffer a narrow defeat against Celtic. Lennon has warned his players to make the most of home advantage in front of what he hopes will be a packed Parkhead for the first leg of the play-offs. But du Chatinier claims that even defeat will not spell the end for his side, who are confident they can finish the job in Holland next week. "Any good result will be okay," he said. "Even if we lose by a small amount, we are confident we will be able to beat them in our own stadium. "If we lost 4-0, it would be quite hopeless. Anything that would give us a fighting chance of winning the match would give us good confidence when we head back on Friday."