Everton will wise up for European challenge, says Stubbs

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The Independent Online

Veteran defender Alan Stubbs believes that Everton will go into their new European campaign much wiser than in their last experience at that level.

Two seasons ago Everton were knocked out of the Champions League and then Uefa Cup at the first stage, and tomorrow they face Metalist Kharkiv at Goodison Park in this season's Uefa Cup first round desperate to make amends.

Stubbs said: "This time round, hopefully, we will be a bit wiser, a bit more experienced about how European football goes."

"The manager David Moyes and his assistant Alan Irvine have been over to the Ukraine to watch them and they know it will not be an easy game at all.

"From my point of view, this will be my first game in Europe. To play for Everton full stop was something I never thought I would do, so to play for Everton in Europe would be a fantastic achievement."

Stubbs is wary of the threat posed by the unknown quantity the Ukrainian side will provide. The return leg, in a fortnight, comes in a spell of seven games in 22 days for Everton.

Stubbs said: "Now that Europe is upon us we have an extra challenge and that is playing on a Thursday and then again on a Sunday. But it is what we all wanted, so you are not going to get anyone here complaining about it."

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