Lippi's Guangzhou Evergrande desire for winning start in ACL
Updated: 2014-02-26 10:54
The Italian insists Guangzhou cannot rely on last year's AFC Champions League success and must raise their game to a new level in 2014.
"Because we won the trophy last year, this year all the teams will have a greater desire to defeat us. We have to be more prepared and fight to be the leading side of the new season," said Lippi at the pre-match press conference on Tuesday.
"Melbourne has their advantage, they are already in the middle of the season, while our domestic league has yet to start. It is common practice in international competition, but what really matters is the quality of football you present and the desire to win," he added.
Guangzhou have only played the Chinese Super Cup and lost to Guizhou 1-0 a week ago, while Melbourne have made the trip to China following Saturday's 4-3 win over Adelaide United.
Melbourn's coach Muscat remains a low key before the high-profile defending Champions.
"We respect Guangzhou Evergrande very much, they are the defending champions. It is important for us to be part of this competition. Although we are confident, we aware of the pressure to play against this team," said Muscat.