"We need to make sure we have enough tools available to break them down. We need to win the game in the first half."

– Rene Meulensteen
30/09/2008 08:46, Report by James Tuck, in Aalborg
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Rene calls for fast start

Rene Meulensteen believes the gameplan for United's Champions League game against Aalborg should be to score early and "kill their belief".

The Reds' first-team coach faced Aalborg twice during his time as coach of Brondby and revealed they are a hard-working, disciplined side who will gain more confidence the longer they keep United's attack at bay.

"Aalborg typify Danish football as a whole – well organised," Meulensteen told "They will work their socks off against us because if they don’t, we will have too much quality for them.

"So we need to make sure we have enough tools available to break them down. We need to win the game in the first half by starting bright and sharp, and if we score an early goal we’ll kill some of their belief. If they have something to hold onto like they did at Celtic, they'll get extra energy from nowhere."

Brondby failed to beat Aalborg in either of their two league meetings under Meulensteen's reign two years ago, so the Dutchman knows United must not take their opponents lightly. 

"Erik Hamrén was Aalborg's coach for several years and did a good job. They were a decent side when we faced them – we drew 1-1 at their place but lost 2-1 at home," Meulensteen added. 

"Bruce Rioch is now in charge and he's an experienced coach who knows Danish football, having worked with Odense. He has several good players here, although one of the best, Michael Jakobsen, isn’t playing tonight because he is suspended.

"They also have an attacking midfielder, Siyabonga Nomvethe, who has been injured recently but was quite skilful and tricky when he played against us at Brondby.

"Goalkeeper Karim Zaza is a bit of an erratic player who can make fantastic saves – one from a Nakamura free-kick two weeks ago – but he’s not the biggest of players and isn’t always 100% certain on crosses.

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