Andric out to push favourites Zenit
Captain Srdjan Andric has told UEFA Europa League group favourites Zenit that Hajduk Split will push them all the way in this year's competition.
The Croatians and the Russians have been drawn in Group G along with AEK Athens and Anderlecht, with only the top two going through to the last 32.
Andric admits Zenit, who won the competition in its former guise of the UEFA Cup in 2008, are favourites to top the group but is confident his side, who launch their campaign against AEK in Athens tomorrow evening, will push them all the way.
The 30-year-old told Dalje.com: "I think that in our group, Zenit will be the favourites, they are the biggest name. We know we will have to do something special to satisfy our ambitions, but that does not mean that we will not try to do something more."
Hajduk have drawn each of their last three matches, including the Europa League play-off clash with Romanian side Unirea Urziceni in Bucharest, 1-1, and Andric admits he would happily settle for a similar result tomorrow. He said: "That result in Greece would be very good."
The Croatians began their European campaign in the third qualifying round, where a 4-3 aggregate victory over another Romanian outfit, Dinamo Bucharest, booked their place in the play-offs.
However, a 3-1 defeat in the away leg extended a poor record on the road which now extends to just one win in 13 European matches on their travels, a 3-0 success over Malta's Birkirkara FC in the 2008-09 UEFA Cup first qualifying round.
But AEK's home record is nothing to get excited about either, with the Greeks having failed to win any of their last three games in Europe on their own turf following a 1-0 victory over Benfica in the group stage of last season's competition.
Indeed, they will be bidding to avoid bottom spot in their group for just the second time in four attempts in the Europa League and UEFA Cup - though they do go into the match on the back of a 2-0 league victory over Panseriakos on Sunday.