Lev­erkusen boss sounds bat­tle cry

New Straits Times - - Sport -

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

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