Leverkusen boss sounds battle cry
MADRID: Bayer Leverkusen new coach Tayfun Korkut, appointed in place of Roger Schmidt last week, insists his team will not lose the second leg.
“We have seen in the last few days what can happen in football,” he told Marca.
“We will not be beaten in Madrid, we will go and fight in the tie until the end. We know what result we need to reach the quarters.”
Defender Omer Toprak misses the game after suffering an ankle problem in Friday’s 1-1 draw with Werder Bremen, adding to the absences of the suspended Benjamin Henrichs and the injured Jonathan Tah.
The Germans hope to have goalkeeper Bernd Leno back after he underwent nose surgery at the weekend.
Leverkusen have lost five of their last eight games in all competitions, conceding 13 goals in their last three, in their worst Bundesliga season in 14 years. The club are 10th in the league.
The 42-year-old Korkut’s only previous experience in the league came at Hannover from December 2013 to April 2015, his tenure ended by a 4-0 loss to Leverkusen at the end of a 13-game winless run.
“Tayfun always had a good game idea. That’s why the choice was relatively simple for us, even if it was maybe a surprise for others,” Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voeller said. “We're optimistic that we’ll get back on track with him.”
Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno