Jimenez calm amid selection headache

Sevilla coach Manuel Jimenez was keen to play down an injury crisis ahead of Wednesday night's Champions League clash with Rangers.

Last Updated: 08/12/09 at 18:02

Jimenez: Keeping his focus

Jimenez: Keeping his focus

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While Rangers' European adventure this season will end regardless of the result, the Spaniards need at least a draw against the Scottish champions in Spain to ensure they top Group G.

"First place in the group seemed close when we won the first three matches. But we have lost our way in the group in the last two matches," said Jimenez.

"But I am confident that tomorrow we will finish first in the group by winning the match.

"I'd also like to express my thanks to the players who have pretty much been playing unchanged for the last month, with some of them carrying knocks."

The biggest blow ahead of the match is the loss of Luis Fabiano, who has been ruled out for three weeks with a foot injury sustained at the weekend.

But Jimenez insists there are others who can fill the void.

He said: "I have no doubts about the ability of Negredo, Kanoute or Renato to score goals.

"Recently, we were lauded as having the best forward line in Spain; we are still creating chances. I'm sure we will start scoring goals soon."

However, Jimenez admits injury worries have played a part in recent poor results, with Sevilla winless in three games.

He said: "You can't feel sorry for yourself. The run of injuries and negative form are interconnected and there are two factors.

"The same players are playing in every match, which doesn't give much scope for players resting and players are carrying knocks.

"Secondly, although the team is creating a lot of chances, they are not taking them. Hopefully, if we can continue making chances, that can change."

Sevilla also have problems at the back, with Sebastien Squillaci out and Jimenez unwilling to risk Julien Escude, who has been wearing a facial mask in training after surgery on a broken nose.

"This is nothing new," said the coach.

"Over the last few weeks in the league, the team has had defensive problems. As far as I'm concerned, difficulties arise in these situations but the solutions are there.

"Players may have to play out of position but that is something that has happened in other matches."

Meanwhile, Jimenez claimed he is unconcerned by reports linking Diego Perotti with a move to Arsenal.

He said: "It's not worrying, the player is training as normal and he is only thinking of Sevilla at the moment.

"That said, what will be, will be. You can't control these external factors."

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