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There's only one Davie Weir? This lot have 3 of him; Brown is wary of Od fellows.


MOTHERWELL boss Craig Brown reckons his strikers will come up against the equivalent of three David Weirs in the Odense defence on Thursday.

Well's Europa League opponents have bags of experience at the back with Anders Moller Christensen, Chris Sorensen and Aatle Roar Haaland all 33.

Brown was reminded of Rangers skipper Weir when he watched the veteran trio in action during a 3-2 defeat by FC Copenhagen.

And the Danes added even more know-how at the back when Thomas Helveg, 39, stepped into the fray after Sorensen picked up a knock.

So the Well boss knows his side will have to be at their best if youthful exuberance is to triumph over experience.

Brown said: "Odense have a vastly experienced side. The three lads at the back don't play like 33-year-olds and I said to Archie Knox that Odense have three David Weirs.

"These lads all read the game brilliantly - they intercept attacks, break up play and win headers.

"Helveg came on at right-back when I watched them and he was still excellent at 39.

"He has played for both the Milan clubs and I thought: "Good for you pal". Helveg looked fit and the crowd just loved him."

Odense also have some younger players who could cause damage and Brown is wary of striker Peter Utaka and winger Rurik Gislason.

He said: "Peter is the brother of Portsmouth's John Utaka and they are similar types of players.

"Gislason plays on the right and has just broken into the full Iceland team. He is only 23 and they have high hopes for him."

Jackpot Brown (right) and assistant boss Knox got a sneak preview of how the Danes will try to intimidate Well during their spying trip.

And he laughed as he recalled having to throw streamers on to the pitch to blend in with the locals.

He said: "There was quite a bit of pageantry before the game.

"In one stand everybody got a flag while in the our stand the fans had streamers to throw. Archie took the blue one unsurprisingly and I claimed the white one.

"It was like being in Italy and they stage-managed it brilliantly.

"The match we watched was similar to the Edinburgh derby.

"Odense are a good side but the Old Firm and Dundee United would probably beat them in Europe.

"My players have gone to Celtic Park and Ibrox so they will be ready for this challenge."

Motherwell have banked at least pounds 250,000 from their Euro run but beating Odense to reach the group stage could land them a jackpot of pounds 2million.

Brown said: "There is a lot of money to be made in the groups and the spin off from that could be cash to strengthen the side."

MAILFILE ON THE MEN FROM DENMARK Founded: 1887. Nickname: De Stribede (The Stripes).

Stadium: TRE-FOR Park (Capacity: 15,761). Manager: Lars Olsen. Colours: White and Blue. Honours: Danish title - 1977, 1982, 1989. Danish Cup - 1983, 1991, 1993, 2002, 2007.

Star Man: Manchester United old boy Eric Djemba-Djemba (right) pulls the strings in midfield for the Danes. Last season: Second to FC Copenhagen. Interesting facts: Knocked Hibs out of the InterToto Cup in 2006 on the away-goals rule. Per Pedersen became the club's record sale when he signed for Blackburn Rovers for pounds 2.3 million in 1997.

They have a blue and white tiger as mascot and have spent 50 seasons in the Danish top flight.

Reached the 1994/95 UEFA Cup quarter-final by defeating Real Madrid 2-0 in the Bernabeu to seal a 4-3 aggregate win. It was called the Miracle In Madrid but Parma knocked them out in the next round.

CRAIG BROWN claims Motherwell will be trying to score a vital away goal against Odense - but insists they won't go "madman s***" about it. was "down a bit have " That unique turn of phrase comes from assistant Archie Knox and it had the Fir Park camp in stitches ahead of Thursday's clash. three But Brown knows it's deadly serious for Well to avoid a gung-ho approach.

He said: "Archie has a funny phrase for that tactic - madman s***.

"I can assure you Motherwell will not be doing that in Denmark.

"If we can manage to nick a goal, though, it will give us an advantage." IN


Bullet: Rest of the captionfgewygfeyfgewyfgyegewyf- Old heads: Odense stoppers Christensen (left), Haaland (centre) and Sorensen
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Aug 15, 2010
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