BRUGES, Belgium (Reuters) – Club Brugge’s players must raise their performances to have any chance against Manchester City in their Champions League game on Tuesday, said coach Philippe Clement.
The Belgians, who have had a surprisingly positive start in Group A, will be the underdogs when they host the English champions on Tuesday.
“We always want to win our next match and this one is no different. But we will have to be at our best, every player will have to be at his best level and some will have to play even beyond their best. The bar is certainly a lot higher for this game,” Clement told a news conference on Tuesday.
“We believe we have a chance against every opponent. I don’t think we are going to get 20 chances in the game but there will be one. It means we will have to be really efficient.”
Clement, who has won the Belgian league for three seasons in a row – firstly with Genk and twice since with Brugge – said he rated Manchester City as the best club side in the world, along with Bayern Munich.
“That makes it an enormous challenge for us. We have shown already in our two previous group games that we can play at the Champions League level, although I believe City are at a higher level than PSG and Leipzig.”
Brugge held visitors Paris Saint-Germain in their opening group game at home and then upset Leipzig with a 2-1 win away to Bundesliga club at the end of last month.
“The challenge will be to not be chasing the ball too much,” Clement added about Tuesday’s game.
“Our players can do that, we showed that in Leipzig. We can do well without the ball and have the ability to approach games in different ways and still get a result,” he added.
PSG lead the group standings ahead of Brugge, who are level with the French side on four points, with City third on three and Leipzig bottom without a point after two games.
(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Ken Ferris)