We must keep a close eye on Cummings '“ Brondby boss

Brondby boss Alexander Zorniger has pinpointed striker Jason Cummings as the main danger to his side's Europa League hopes.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 14th July 2016, 5:30 am
Brondby manager Alexander Zorniger
Brondby manager Alexander Zorniger

The Danish outfit had Hibs watched last Sunday as they put the finishing touches to their preparations for tonight’s second round qualifying round first leg with a 4-1 win over Premiership outfit Motherwell with Cummings netting for the third game in succession.

And Zorniger admitted he was worried about the attacking threat Hibs carry, saying: “I think we should never underestimate a team that won the Scottish Cup final.

“We saw the game with Motherwell so we know about the strengths of the team, especially offensively. Hibs have a lot of really quick players so we have to be careful.”

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Asked which individuals had caught his eye, the German coach replied: “Jason Cummings, Darren McGregor in defence and David Gray – they have a lot of quality.”

Brondby arrived in Scotland on Monday, Zorniger, who only became coach of the Copenhagen-based club in May, delighted to have his squad together for an extended period in which they trained at Riccarton alongside Hearts.

Robbie Neilson’s squad were enjoying their final session before heading to Malta for their own Europa League tie against Birkirkara as the Danes set to work, with Zorniger revealing he had a chat with the Jambos head coach.

He said: “I spoke to him as I would with every coach in the world.” However, he insisted he hadn’t discussed Hibs with Neilson, adding: “We didn’t talk about that – but I wouldn’t tell you if I did.”

Brondby will be without South African midfielder Lebogang Phiri, who ran into visa problems. Zorniger admitted he’d have liked to have had the 21-year-old in Edinburgh even if only to be with his team-mates. He said: “It’s been good to have the squad together for a few days, our first camp. It’s important for me to know the guys, to speak to them without any time pressure, being able to have a few team meetings without anyone having to rush to go home to the family.”

If Cummings is the man the Danes fear, Brondby captain Johan Larsson insisted Hibs should worry about Teemu Pukki, the Finnish striker once signed by Easter Road boss Neil Lennon for Celtic.

Pukki scored twice against the Capital club during his short and unsuccessful stay in Glasgow and Larsson warned that his room-mate will enjoy playing against Hibs again.

The 26-year-old defender said: “In general, we think Scottish teams come with a lot of power and intensity. I played against Celtic two years ago [for Swedish side Elfsborg] so I know what to expect.

“But Teemu is a dangerous attacker, really fast and hard to defend against, I really like him as a player and he is very important to us.”