Osborne urges caution in Euro adventure
IPSWICH Town's former Euro hero Roger Osborne today urged George Burley's Blues to create a "European adventure."Town make their long-awaited UEFA Cup return with a first round home leg against Torpedo Moscow tomorrow.
By Dave Allard
IPSWICH Town's former Euro hero Roger Osborne today urged George Burley's Blues to create a "European adventure."
Town make their long-awaited UEFA Cup return with a first round home leg against Torpedo Moscow tomorrow.
"The team start the UEFA Cup campaign tomorrow night against Torpedo Moscow and and the fact is that eight days after, following the return, it could all be very flat," warned Osborne.
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"The club is back in Europe again after a lapse of 19 years and I'll be there cheering them on. But, without wanting to sound too much of a pessimistic note, there is much work to be done to make the European adventure come true."
The Blues face Torpedo Moscow in the first round second leg in the Russian capital seven days later.
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Osborne – Town's 1978 FA Cup Final victory goal hero against Arsenal – featured in Euro campaigns from 1974 to 1978.
A highlight was in November 1977 when he marked the legendary Johan Cruyff, arguably the world's number one player at the time, out of the game in Town's 3-0 win over Barcelona at Portman Road.
Former midfield man Osborne, who still lives and works in Ipswich, feels that Ipswich cannot afford to "go gung-ho" in the first leg.
"They have to play their normal passing game and resist the temptation to go silly," he said.
"It is important not to concede a goal. It is crucial to be tight at the back and not to let one in. Total concentration is vital. One silly mistake could be awful.
"It is a very tough start to the competition. But I'm sure the team are up to the test."
Osborne added: "Being in Europe is such a release from the league routine and if a run builds up the trips for players and fans become so special. For a time, in the days I played at Ipswich, we used to take it for granted that we would qualify for Europe each year. It is much harder now, much more of a scramble."
The Torpedo players will train tonight at Portman Road ahead of the big match that is live on BBC1 with an 8.05pm kick-off.