Bordeaux provide example

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The Independent Football

John Gregory has issued a "remember Bordeaux" message to his squad as they face NK Varteks at Villa Park tonight in the Uefa Cup.

The Aston Villa manager's well-known criticism of the Intertoto Cup, which starts in mid-July, is that it gives players too little time to recharge over the summer, but he is all too aware of Bordeaux, who three years ago took part in the Intertoto and went all the way to the Uefa Cup final.

"The exploits of Bordeaux are why we were in the Intertoto," said Gregory. "Our governor, chairman Doug Ellis, often reminds me of what they did a couple of years back after they had started out in the Intertoto. We now find ourselves coming up to our seventh European match already this season. It's been a bit of a long journey just to get to this stage, but Bordeaux showed what can be done."

Gregory said that he will be more focused on the way his own side perform tonight than being over concerned with concentrating on Varteks, although he will accord the Croatian side the necessary respect.

He said: "We have got tapes of them, profiles and in-depth information on each player, but it counts for nothing if you forget to pick one of them up at the far post.

"We will use the info as much as we feel is enough. We will make sure no stone is unturned, but I sometimes think if you read too much about the opposition it can scare you.

"We will be aware of what they are good at, but I am more concerned about how we go about our job."

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