Schmadtke welcomes Sevilla test
Hannover's director of sport Jorg Schmadtke admitted his side have a mountain to climb if they are to reach the group stage of the UEFA Europa League after being drawn against Spanish giants Sevilla in the play-off.
Die Roten, who were one of the surprise packages in the Bundesliga last season, finishing just behind Bayern Munich in fourth, must beat the 2006 and 2007 UEFA Cup winners if they are to reach the group phase and Schmadtke accepts it is going to be tough.
However, he also welcomed the draw, which will give the fans the chance to see one of Europe's top clubs come to the Niedersachsen Stadion. "It is particularly challenging to play against the top-seeded club," he said. "I think it is very attractive for our fans, but everything is going to have to come together for us to be able to go through."
Bundesliga rivals Schalke have a slightly easier task in Finnish side HJK Helsinki, although their coach Ralf Rangnick has warned that they will not be a pushover. "No opponent must be under-estimated," he said on his club's website. "Therefore, we will start to deal with HJK from next week. Our aim is clearly to reach the group stage of the Europa League."