Date: 20th August 2010 at 4:12pm
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Brad Guzan is nostalgic for the European nights of his first season, and he’s called on the faithful to recreate the atmosphere within the Gerhard Hanappi Stadium when Vienna visit.

Speaking on the Official Site Guzan admits it was hellishly intimidating last night.

‘In the first leg, we knew coming into it that it was going to be a difficult game and a hostile environment.

‘We’ll be looking forward to next week and striving to advance. Our ultimate goal in Europe is to get through to these group stages and bring back some nights to remember at Villa Park.’

As to his own ‘unique’ experience in last nights game, he admits you can be standing 5ft away from a team mate bellowing at them and they still can’t here you, but that’s part and parcel of football and just something as a professional you have to deal with.

However:

‘You don’t want to see some of that though. Unfortunately there were a few things – liquid beverages – but you have to put things like that behind you too.’

A small minority of Rapid fans last night showed their class without doubt. A cigarette lighter at Guzan that the referee carried to the fourth official, and water or pop amongst what looked like slightly more solid objects at Andreas Weimann as he was stretchered off.

Not really the way to make friends, but then again with the way some of their players did JFK impressions and seemed more interested in injuring players than using the ball for it’s original purpose, it’s hardly surprising really.

Guzan ends his interview by praising the youngsters, especially in light of the behaviour of some of the fans.

‘It’s brilliant when you see young lads stepping up in games like this – in front of a crowd like this – and see them put in the performances they did.’

Kevin MacDonald was slightly more philosophical on the events of the night.

When discussing the water bottle that was thrown at Barry Bannan, he quipped:

‘I never actually saw the bottle of water being thrown at Barry, but he probably needed it because it was quite warm out there!’

Before adding when you visit stadiums like this around Europe, whilst you don’t expect objects to be thrown, you do expect a vociferous support – unfortunately the way of the world, it just means the players have to deal with it.

The sooner such idiots are removed from football the better, there’s no place for throwing objects onto the pitch whether it’s the Gerhard Hanappi or Villa Park.

According to the BBC, Uefa are waiting on referee Alain Hamer’s report before deciding if action will taken over the incidents.

If his report is anything like his refereeing last night he’ll miss the obvious bits, condone the dirty tackles from behind by moving to the next paragraph, and focus on his conversation with Big Mac.

In games like that you need a strong referee, I don’t count being able to lift his own whistle and play with it as a particularly good qualification criteria.

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