Leekens relishing Toon clash
Club Brugge boss Georges Leekens is excited by Thursday's clash with Newcastle but has warned the Magpies his side will not be overawed.
The current Pro League leaders arrived in the north-east without a host of injured players, but with their coach still optimistic they will more than make life difficult for their hosts.
Leekens, who played in the Brugge side which lost to a Kevin Keegan-inspired Liverpool in the 1976 UEFA Cup final, said: "We know the level of international football and we know the level in England is high, very high, and it is a test for us.
"We know that from the first minute to the last, we will have to be at our best and if you know football, that's the history of English football.
"I saw Philippe Albert talking in the Belgian newspapers about what a nice time he had here, and Kevin Keegan was one of my opponents in the UEFA Cup final and [Alan] Shearer is well known.
"They have a great team, a great stadium and we are coming here to try to enjoy it because football is about the game.
"It's nice to see this club growing - but we are not coming here for a holiday, we are coming here to play football.
"It will be tough, but we don't have to be afraid. We are playing against a good team and sometimes against a better team with better players, you have got to give everything you have, and that we will do."
Leekens will be without Michael Almeback, Jim Larsen, Ryan Donk, Niki Zimling and Thomas Meunier through injury while Colombian striker Carlos Bacca, who has scored nine goals in his last eight games, is a doubt after a training-ground clash with defender Jordi.
The Belgians opened their Group D campaign with a dispiriting 4-0 defeat in Bordeaux but bounced back with a 2-0 home victory over Maritimo last time out, and Leekens is hopeful there will be no repeat of the horror show in France.
He said: "I'm not thinking about the past, I'm thinking about today and tomorrow. I'm not going to say we are scared.
"We know it's another team with big quality, but the most important thing is my players enjoy it and believe in it, even if it is difficult.
"We are not here to play restrictive football. We are an offensive team and we won't change the nature of our club or our players.
"Sometimes when the other team is better, you have to adapt a little bit, but we hope we don't have to adapt too much.
"Sometimes it's not easy, but that's when you have to show other qualities."