Aogo keen to make amends
Dennis Aogo has revealed that Hamburg will be spurred on by the memory of last year's semi-final defeat.
Last Updated: 21/04/10 6:44pm
Dennis Aogo has revealed that Hamburg will be spurred on by the memory of last year's Uefa Cup semi-final defeat when they lock horns with Fulham.
Having been knocked out by German rivals Werder Bremen 12 months ago, Hamburg will be hoping to go one step further after making it through to the last four of the revamped Europa League.
Hamburg will stage the final in May but must first overcome a Fulham side on a fairytale run of their own.
Versatile defender Aogo is relishing the challenge, saying: "We all remember the semi-final last year and it hurt.
"Those of us who were there want to put that right now and what better motivation can we have than playing in our home stadium?
"That is the real drive that drives us on."
Fulham have had to endure a long journey by rail and road to get to Hamburg due to the eruption of an Icelandic volcano that has grounded many flights across the continent.
Roy Hodgson has expressed concern about whether Fulham will be at a disadvantage but his opposite number Bruno Labbadia does not believe there was an alternative.
The Hamburg boss said: "For Fulham it would have been a risk to fly, a risk they couldn't take.
"I would say this is part and parcel of the game and you just have to cope with it, to deal with it."
Ruud van Nistelrooy, who has revealed that he could have joined Fulham from Real Madrid last summer, is likely to provide Hamburg's biggest threat.
Labbadia is delighted with the way the Dutchman has played since arriving in the Bundesliga in January.
"He scores goals, that's obvious, everyone knows that," said Labbadia.
"You do have to take into consideration that, after one-and-a-half-years' virtual break, he's started playing again and he's playing a lot of games.
"But I would say, for both parties, it's definitely been profitable and he's good for us.
"His presence has brought a lot to our team and you can see it in the opposition when he's on the pitch. There's a certain amount of respect that is merited towards him."