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Page last updated at 11:39 GMT, Friday, 29 August 2008 12:39 UK

Motherwell face Nancy in Uefa Cup

Damian Macaluso
Nancy reached the last 32 of the Uefa Cup last season

Motherwell manager Mark McGhee says AS Nancy will provide a major hurdle as the Fir Park side embark on their first European venture in 13 years.

Motherwell came out against the French outfit in the draw for Round One of the Uefa Cup on Friday.

Nancy reached the round of 32 in last season's Uefa Cup, being eliminated by Shakhtar Donetsk.

"They will be very difficult opposition for us, if we get through this, it'll be a major result," said McGhee.

The first leg of the tie will be played at Stade Marcel Picot on 18 September, with the return leg at Fir Park on 2 October.

McGhee told BBC Sport he was pleased to have avoided teams such as Valencia and Manchester City, despite the glamour afforded to such ties.

"Nancy don't on paper appear to have the same romance as Valencia, or the Scotland-England thing of Manchester City," said McGhee.

"But we've been looking forward to this so much and it was reward for the decent season we had last year.

"This is what it's all about. Now we know where we're going and it was important for me that we're going away from home first.

"We've drawn a team who will be no pushover, but I think we've done alright."

Nancy finished fourth in Ligue 1 last season but have only picked up two points from their first three matches this season.

But we've been looking forward to this so much, and it was reward for the decent season we had last year

Mark McGhee
Nancy's Uruguayan coach Pablo Correa became popular with his club's fans as a player when he partnered former Celtic striker Tony Cascarino up front.

Since leading his side to fourth in Ligue 1 last season, Correa has concentrated on strengthening his defence.

Centre-back Sebastien Puygrenier left for Uefa Cup champions Zenit St Petersburg during the summer, but Nancy used the cash to bring back one of their former favourites.

Former Fulham centre-back Abdeslam Ouaddou was bought from Valenciennes and joined fellow Morocco international Michael Chretien in the Nancy defence after the latter penned a new contract during the summer.

The club's back-line was also bolstered by the signing of Jean Calve from Ligue 1 rivals Le Mans UC 72, Brazilian Helder from Juventude, Geoffrey Adjet from French fifth division outfit Toulouse-Fontaines and Joel Sami from Amiens.

MY SPORT: DEBATE

Young French goalkeeper Thomas Gaudu was also brought in from Sannois-St-Gratien.

Experienced midfielder Julien Feret, previously of Reims, was the only non-defensive player to signed during the summer by Correa, whose side have drawn both their home league games this season 0-0.

However, Nancy have scored just once so far this season, their goal threat being hampered by striker Chris Malonga being ruled out for the opening month of the season with a thigh injury.


see also
Uefa Cup draw as it happened
29 Aug 08 |  Europe


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