Ruud: Hamburg must deal with flak

Ruud van Nistelrooy says his Hamburg team-mates must learn to deal with criticism ahead of Thursday’s Europa League tie at Standard Liege.

The Bundesliga side take a narrow 2-1 lead into their quarter-final second-leg meeting with Standard in Belgium (kick-off 8.05pm).

Hamburg on Monday hit striker Paolo Guerrero with a club record fine after he threw a plastic bottle at a fan who was shouting abuse at him after Sunday’s goalless draw with Hannover. The German Football Association (DFB) have also launched an investigation into the Peruvian’s conduct.

Guerrero has been included in Bruno Labbadia’s squad for the match with Standard, though.

"The club has clarified things with Paolo. For me the issue is past," Van Nistelrooy, who scored the winner in the first leg, said in an interview with the Bild newspaper.

"I am, thank God, not the chairman. I am Paolo’s team-mate. I want to progress with him in the Europa League on Thursday.

"Of course the fans can whistle – they can do what they want. I have played before in front of 90,000 spectators and they whistled after five minutes.

"We as a team have to accept that. We will be also be celebrated when we score goals."

Hamburg’s first-leg victory is their only win in their last six games, but Van Nistelrooy admits Standard’s away goal will give them hope.

He added: "We go into the game 2-1 in front. We have to progress. Even if Liege say that the away goal in Hamburg was important for them."

Fellow striker Mladen Petric fancies Hamburg to score.

"Up front we are always good for a goal," the Croatian said on the club’s official website.

The first-leg defeat was Standard’s first defeat in the Europa League this season and their first in all European competition since losing 2-0 at Arsenal in the Champions League in November.

They, like their opponents, are in far from impressive form in the league.

They went down at 1-0 at struggling Racing Genk at the weekend and have won just one game since February.