Paphitis hopeful despite tough European draw

Millwall's chairman, Theo Paphitis, was cautiously optimistic about his side's chances in their first major European adventure after drawing Ferencvaros in the Uefa Cup.

Millwall's chairman, Theo Paphitis, was cautiously optimistic about his side's chances in their first major European adventure after drawing Ferencvaros in the Uefa Cup.

The Lions qualified for the competition despite losing to Manchester United in last season's FA Cup final because of United's involvement in the Champions' League.

Player-manager Dennis Wise's side will now face home and away legs against the Hungarians in the first round of the tournament next month, with the glittering prize a place in the lucrative group stage.

Paphitis said: "It's a great draw, but they are probably the hardest unseeded team in our group. We are going to a great country to play a club with a good football pedigree. Whatever team we were drawn against would have made for a cracking game."

Middlesbrough were paired against the Czech champions, Banik Ostrava. They will have home advantage in the first leg in their first European tie.

The two Scottish sides taking part will both face Portuguese clubs. Rangers, who were hoping to take part in the Champions' League only to be knocked out in the qualifying round this week, were given the limited consolation of a tie against moderate opposition in Maritimo, of the holiday island Madeira. The first leg is at Ibrox. Hearts will play Braga in one of the Euro 2004 venues. Top seeds, the Italian side Lazio, were drawn against Metalurh Donetsk, of Ukraine.

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