Rolfes focusing on Sociedad

Captain Simon Rolfes insists Bayer Leverkusen have put their 5-0 defeat to Manchester United behind them.

Last Updated: 09/12/13 at 14:07

Simon Rolfes: Not looking for revenge

Simon Rolfes: Not looking for revenge

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Captain Simon Rolfes insists Bayer Leverkusen have put their 5-0 defeat to Manchester United behind them as they focus on getting the result they need to reach the last 16 of the Champions League in Spain on Tuesday night.

Defeat to Real Sociedad would end their hopes of snatching second spot in Group A, although a draw would be enough should United do them a favour by beating Shakhtar Donetsk.

They departed for San Sebastian on Monday morning looking forwards and not back at their last group game, according to Rolfes.

"There's no thoughts of revenge, all we're thinking about is going through," he said.

Indeed, since that heaviest ever home defeat in the Champions League, Leverkusen have bounced back with victories in the Bundesliga, including Saturday's 1-0 win at Borussia Dortmund, a result which put six points between the two sides placed second and third in the table.

"We're making the trip with a good feeling," said the club's director of sport Rudi Voller on his club's website.

"All we've got to do is focus on ourselves. It's going to be a tough enough game, but when you've got the wind between your sails, you've got to make the most of it."

Meanwhile, the club's general manager Michael Schade expects United to help Leverkusen out by beating Shakhtar.

"I don't think even a club like Manchester United has any interest in playing a side like Bayern Munich or anybody of that calibre in the knockout stages," Schade said at Cologne airport.

"I'm absolutely convinced that United will do all they can to win the group."

Coach Sami Hyypia was able to take a fully fit squad of players with him to Spain.

Hosts Sociedad will be retiring from the Champions League no matter what the outcome at the Anoeta.

With just one draw and four defeats from their five group games so far, they will only be playing for pride on Tuesday night.

"Motivation for tomorrow comes naturally," said coach Jagoba Arrasate at a press conference on Monday.

"The team will do all they can to end the group stage on a high. We deserved to get more points than we have, but what we deserved doesn't matter.

"We know that tomorrow's is an important game that we want to win."

Arrasate has announced changes will be made to his side, confirming that goalkeeper Enaut Zubikarai and defender Jose Angel will both be given their first tastes of the competition.

"They deserve it for the work they put in day in, day out," Arrasate said.

Jose Angel, sitting next to his coach on the podium, said he was looking forward to the opportunity to prove himself, and show that Sociedad are stronger than their European campaign suggests.

"Football's been cruel to Real in this group stage and we've deserved more," he said.

"We're going to do all we can from the beginning to win this game. I believe we're better than Bayer."


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