Newcastle United - Roeder Backs InterToto
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Roeder Backs InterToto

The Intertoto Cup is seen as the back-door into Europe, and not that many clubs are prepared to cut short their player's holidays to accomodate it.

But the United manager welcomes the chance to get an edge over the other Premiership clubs by having his players 'on the ball' for the start of the season.

Roeder: 'We worked extremely hard to get to the Intertoto and we don't want to make any errors.

'We have had a short summer break and now we have two and a half weeks to get fit for the first competitive game. We have got five guaranteed fixtures but we also expect to be playing in the early rounds of the UEFA Cup. And we want to do the job thoroughly and that's why I am going to Norway to watch Lillestrom and Keflavik.

'The idea is to see their strengths and weaknesses, as well as Keflavik, although I would be surprised if the Icelandic team win this one.

'After speaking to several coaches on the Pro-Licence course last week, I know that most teams are reporting back between July 7-12. But we are back earlier because we produced such an astonishing run at the end of last season to get in through the back door and qualify for Europe - and now we have to take the opportunity.

'Of course, you would rather qualify automatically but without the InterToto we would not be talking about Europe. Coming back early can also work in your favour, but the key to having a good start to the season is having a fully fit squad. And we will be steadily building up the numbers in our squad over the coming weeks.

'We have to be as careful as we can as we cannot afford any errors during the build-up.'

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer:  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday June 30 2006

Time: 10:58AM


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