JJ planning special birthday

Last updated : 17 February 2003 By Martyn Elliott

JJ will of course be playing in Tuesday’s crucial Champions League second phase tie in Bayer Leverkusen’s Bay Arena and knows the importance of the tie to our hopes of qualification for the quarter finals.

"Even though we have had two defeats, I still think that a quarter-final place is there for the taking," he told the Evening Chronicle.

"We have shown what we can do at this level already this season, so why not? People talk about Arsenal as possible winners of the competition, and look at the way we handled them last weekend.

"Bayer Leverkusen have not had the best of times but it is all down to what we do. We are playing well and we feel that we can beat them."

As the players know failure to win on Tuesday would be almost terminal for our qualification hopes, with a daunting trip to Inter still to come.