SPORTS

PAO goes in search of goals

Panathinaikos coach Jose Peseiro does not want his side to leave it late against Glasgow Rangers in their UEFA Cup second-leg tie tonight and called on his players yesterday to try to get an early goal. The game is delicately poised after Panathianikos held on for a 0-0 draw in Scotland. «I would like us to get an early goal but lately we have been scoring late on in games,» said Peseiro. The Greens survived several scares in the first tie and needed an outstanding performance from goalkeeper Mario Galinovic to keep a clean sheet. Peseiro feels his side may need to score more than one goal to qualify. «The players and I are fully aware of the difficulties of this game. I don’t know if one goal will be enough to win. If we win 4-3 or 1-0, it’s the same to me.» Angolan striker Manucho, on loan from Manchester United, is not likely to figure in Peseiro’s plans as the Portuguese coach feels he has not had enough time to fit in with the rest of the team. Rangers manager Walter Smith admitted that he has little idea of what formation and lineup his counterpart Peseiro will field tonight. «They have a large pool of players and that gives them a lot of variations. It is very difficult for me to try and pick which team the coach will play. But they did show in the first game what they can do.» Smith also said that Rangers would take heart from their scoring record away from Ibrox. «We have scored more goals away from home – three at Lyon, two in Stuttgart,» he said. «It gives us some confidence. We know that we can go away from home and score goals.» Rangers will face a passionate sellout crowd of 14,000 fans. But Smith said the atmosphere does not worry him. «I don’t think we’ll be intimidated by the atmosphere. We are looking forward to it.» Meanwhile, AEK flew to Madrid yesterday for their return leg in the UEFA Cup against local side Getafe. The two sides drew 1-1 in Athens last week. Caretaker coach Nikos Kostenoglou will take charge of the team in tonight’s game as well. AEK announced yesterday that they had reached a financial settlement with their former manager Lorenzo Serra Ferrer who was fired last week.