By Fernando Kallas
SEVILLE, Spain (Reuters) – Eintracht Frankfurt coach Oliver Glasner praised the playing style of their Europa League final opponents Rangers, likening them to the German side’s previous conquests Barcelona and West Ham United.
Eintracht dispatched Spanish giants Barcelona in the quarter-final, before beating London club West Ham in the semis and Glasner feels those encounters give his side a reference point for Wednesday’s final in Seville.
“I see a mix of West Ham United and Barcelona. The Dutch influence of their coach (Giovanni van Bronckhorst) in their build-up play, but with the British mentality. We need a top performance to beat them,” Glasner told a news conference at Sevilla’s Sanchez Pizjuan stadium on Tuesday.
“Rangers are a team that will constantly and robustly engage you in one-on-one battles and are willing to make the runs at the back. James Tavernier is the top goalscorer in the Europa League and he is a fullback, which shows how high their fullbacks play and their contributions up-front.”
Glasner, who said that his team were calm ahead of Wednesday’s game, feels their concentration levels will be key in the final.
“The emotions have only grown in the last few months, I’m so proud of the players and what they’ve produced and achieved. They deserve to be in the final,” Glasner said.
“The vibe in the locker room is great, a good mix of concentration, focus and ease and that is perfect ahead of a huge game like this.
“I was trying to think about what to say to my players tomorrow but I think I don’t even need to make a motivational speech because we know each other so well and know what we have to do to succeed.”
With Spanish authorities expecting the arrival of 50,000 Eintracht supporters, Glasner praised the German club’s travelling fans for the way they got behind the team as they picked up away wins against Real Betis, Barcelona and West Ham en route to the final.
And he believes they will be a factor again on Wednesday.
“Our fans are exceptional. The have gone to great lengths to follow us around Europe,” Glasner said.
“It’s the atmosphere they create. The enthusiasm and passion they bring is one thing, but there are intangible factors that give you goosebumps.
“We’ve got two teams with incredible fans and maybe the best away fans in Europe. Around 150,000 fans from both clubs are expected and that is just amazing.”
(Reporting by Fernando Kallas; Editing by Toby Davis)