Bothroyd looking to shine on Uefa debut

Cindy Garcia-Bennett
Monday 28 October 2013 03:40

Jay Bothroyd is confident he can help Perugia continue in the Uefa Cup by eliminating Dundee in today's second leg at the Renato Curi stadium.

The Islington-born forward will make his Uefa Cup debut today having missed the first leg at Dens Park due to suspension. "I am looking forward to the match, it is a big occasion for the city and we cannot let them down," he said.

Perugia took a 2-1 lead in last month's first-leg encounter, with the defender Marco Di Loreto and midfielder Massimiliano Fusani scoring the goals. But Bothroyd, who joined the Italian side from Coventry this summer, believes the margin will not be sufficient.

"We are going out to win, not to defend the advantage," he said. "Dundee are a decent team and we know that it is going to be a tough game."

The Serie A side have produced their best form in Europe after progressing to the Uefa Cup via the Intertoto Cup, but they are struggling in the domestic competition.

Perugia have yet to clinch a win in Italy's top flight following three draws and two defeats in five league games.

But Bothroyd, who will play alongside the Greek forward Zisis Vryzas in attack, believes their recent negative results will not affect Perugia.

"The team is in high spirits, even though we haven't been getting the results we expected." he said. "We are motivated for the game, there is no pressure, all we can do is work hard and hope things work out."

A defeat would be a big blow for the Biancorossi. "We are looking to do well in the European competition. We have the advantage and we are playing in front of the home fans so a defeat would be a very big disappointment, especially considering Saturday's important game," said the former England Under-21 player, who has managed one goal so far for the club.

The Perugia manager, Serse Cosmi, will be without the Italian international Fabio Grosso who has an injury to his right thigh, and Fusani is set to take his place in the midfield.

Giovanni Battista Ignoffo is also likely to make his Uefa Cup debut, replacing Jamal Alioui in defence. The Libyan international Saadi Gaddafi, the son of the Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, will probably watch the match from the stands with his long-awaited debut still to materialise.

Dundee's Fabrizio Ravanelli will be denied a sentimental return as a player to the ground where he began his long career, although he, too, will watch the match from the stands.

The 34-year-old said: "I would have liked to play, but unfortunately I will not be able to help my team-mates.

"My heart will be with Dundee. But if a team has to defeat us, I would rather it is my home-town team rather than any other club."

A travelling army of 2,000 fans are expected to accompany Dundee to Umbria for what is a big occasion for both clubs.

The Dundee manager, Jim Duffy, believes Fabian Caballero could be the man to spark a comeback from the Dark Blues.

"Having Fabian back after his suspension will give us something different from the home leg and he's been frustrated at having to miss the other games so far," Duffy said.

"Fabian is a special player and we're hoping he can provide us with that little spark we're going to need."

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