Torpedo ace: We fear Ipswich crowd

PUBLISHED: 12:40 20 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:33 03 March 2010

TORPEDO Moscow's top marksman Dmitry Vyazmikin fears the Ipswich Town fans as much as the team in tonight's UEFA Cup first round first leg at Portman Road (kick-off 8.05pm).

TORPEDO Moscow's top marksman Dmitry Vyazmikin fears the Ipswich Town fans as much as the team in tonight's UEFA Cup first round first leg at Portman Road (kick-off 8.05pm).

The 29-year-old Russian strike ace says: "I am very worried about the Ipswich fans' support for their team. This is one of our greatest fears about the game. We are not used to a noisy atmosphere.

"Our stadium holds 80,000 people but normally we get no more than 10,000 or so for our games. So the ground is mainly empty.

"Playing in front of a big crowd all packed into the ground and making a lot of noise is not something our players have much experience of.

"We will have to see how we cope, but it is another challenge that we face. Hopefully there will also be some of our true fans at the game. We will need their support."

Vyazmikin admits that Town start the tie as favourites.

"Playing against an English team is a terrible draw for us," he said. "We are told we play in a similar style to British clubs. If that is so it will be very difficult to beat Ipswich.

"It will be like taking on a team that are masters of the weapon we use. Russian clubs often have problems against teams with styles similar to their own in European games.

"But the trip to England is the first time I have ever been to England and hopefully it will provide some happy memories for me."

Among those watching the Russians train at Portman Road last night was Ipswich chairman David Sheepshanks.

He said: "History is being made here for us. Even back in the halcyon days in Europe we never came up against a Russian side. This is a glorious milestone and we are also relishing the trip to Moscow for the return leg.

"We always felt that we were good enough to return to the Premiership, but this is a real bonus. It is a magical moment in the history of our club."

"We have started the new season rather slowly but hopefully we can get it right in this match and really give Torpedo a few things to think about," added Sheepshanks.

"It will be a great occasion at Portman Road and I hope it will be a night to remember for everyone connected with Ipswich Town.

"And we follow it up with a game at Manchester United on Saturday. The United game is one that no one expects us to win and whatever we get will be a bonus.

"We have two huge matches closely together and hopefully we can do well in both of them."

The modern-day Blues tonight take the field in front of the BBC1 cameras looking to maintain a great home record in European competition that sees them unbeaten at home.

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