Write an Article

It's just another game - Korkut plays down his Champions League coaching bow

A week into the job... you're making your Champions League coaching bow versus Atletico Madrid... And you're 4-2 down from the first leg!

TayfunKorkut - Cropped
Bayer Leverkusen coach Tayfun Korkut

Bayer Leverkusen boss Tayfun Korkut remains undaunted by the prospect of making his Champions League coaching debut in the cauldron of the Vicente Calderon against Atletico Madrid.

Korkut was only appointed by Leverkusen last week following the sacking of Roger Schmidt, and earned a 1-1 draw with Werder Bremen in his first game in charge on Friday.

Wednesday's last-16 second-leg clash presents an altogether sterner prospect, with Leverkusen having lost the opening leg 4-2 at home three weeks ago.

But Korkut, who spent time in Spain with Real Sociedad and Espanyol during his playing career, is unperturbed by the challenge facing him and his players.

"Everyone has to take a first step. I did it as a player in a small team, then in big teams. There's always a first time," he said in Tuesday's media conference.

"It's something natural and normal. As I said, I have a lot of experience as a player and for me it's just another game.

"You never know what will happen in the future but what's important is to do what you want to with belief. Tomorrow [Wednesday] it's the same with our side.

"We want to play the game, it's a special game and we'll give our all to improve our situation throughout the game and turn the scoreline around.

"We know what the situation is with the game after the first leg. We know we're not favourites to go through, but we'll try to come back against a great Atletico side who have a lot of experience at this level. I have confidence in my players.

"As always when a new coach comes in there's intensity. The side want to improve things and move forward and that gives you strength as a coach. We want to take a big step forward as a team over the next few days despite the short time we have been here."

Fetching more content...