RB Leipzig boss says team will need ‘to suffer’ to stop former pupil Erling Haaland
RB Leipzig coach Marco Rose accepts his side have a tough task to stop a player “crazy about scoring” in Manchester City’s Erling Haaland.
Rose’s side come up against the formidable English outfit and the prolific Haaland in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Rose knows Haaland well having coached the Norwegian at Red Bull Salzburg and Borussia Dortmund.
The German said: “If he sees the goal – he is crazy about scoring. He is always there for the team, working for the team.
“He has improved his game a lot, his technical side, his movement and things around. Now he is playing for one of the best teams in the world and he is a world-class player.
“But I have great confidence in my team. We want to compete against one of the best teams in the world, see and look for opportunities.
“We want to be brave and want to solve all the problems and tasks – Haaland is one of them. We want to do it as a team.”
Haaland has scored 32 goals in 31 appearances in all competitions for City but Rose recognises he is not the only threat facing his team in the first leg of their last-16 tie at the Red Bull Arena.
He said: “It is just a top, top squad with an outstanding coach. I told my lads we will need to suffer.
“But we shouldn’t see it as suffering, we should enjoy it. We should be able to close down the free spaces and interrupt the good combination play.
“We need to have fun and enjoy defending and winning the ball. Then it’s all about creating chances, taking advantage of certain chances that we can have.
“We want to compete with them and want to prove we also have a good team, with good players that can play at the top level. I see ourselves well prepared and there is great anticipation.”
The two sides met in last season’s group stage – before Rose was Leipzig boss – with City winning 6-3 at the Etihad Stadium and the Germans prevailing 2-1 in what was a dead rubber in the return.
Rose took charge of the side after the sacking of Domenico Tedesco last September and successfully guided them through to the knockout stages as runners-up to holders Real Madrid in Group F.
Christopher Nkunku, who scored a hat-trick in last season’s loss at the Etihad and has 17 goals this term, is doubtful having only just returned from a knee injury.