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Aug 21, 2012

Udinese confident of UCL progress

Udinese president Giampaolo Pozzo has spoken of his belief in a team very different to that which lost to Arsenal at the same stage last season, as his side prepare to face Braga in the Champions League next week.

Aiming to reach the group stage for only the second time in their history, Udinese take on Portuguese club Braga looking to give a better account of themselves than they did 12 months ago after they lost 3-1 to Arsenal in the play-off round.

Pozzo told Sky Italia: "Last year against Arsenal we were unlucky, this year I am confident. It would be a real shame to miss a chance like this.

"Even though we lost two important players in [Mauricio] Isla and [Kwadwo] Asamoah, we have replaced them well. In the preliminaries you also need luck, but the squad has the will and the potential to reach the group stages."

Asked about club captain Antonio Di Natale, Pozzo explained just what the No. 10 means to the Bianconeri. "He's a player who deserves a lot for what he has done for this team," Pozzo said.

"He is very fond of these colours and this club, and has always been consistent. He has received many offers but never gave up and remained here. He is our pride and our bandiera. For the club, as for Di Natale, it's a great honour playing in the Champions League."

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