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By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Richards confident ahead of Molde clash: "We can be the first team from the Bundesliga to win the Europa League"

After his third strong match in a TSG 1899 Hoffenheim jersey, Bayern loanee Chris Richards is apparently feeling quite confident about his new team's prospects.

The American thinks the Sinsheimers have what it takes to win the Europa League. His coach called the assertion an "interesting statement".
Germany's Kraichgauer stand in the pole position to advance to the Europa League round-of-16 after collecting three "away goals" in last week's first-leg tie against Molde FK. New on-loan central defender Chris Richards brims with confidence not only about the squad's prospects in the match itself, but also its prospects deeper into the tournament.

"The win against Bremen gives us lots of confidence ahead of Molde," the 20-year-old told reporters, "We all have high hopes. We also have the strength to beat any team. I thinks it's possible that we can perhaps be the first team from the Bundesliga to win the Europa league."

Hoffenheim trainer Sebastian Hoeneß knows Richards quite well from their mutual days on the Bayern campus. Hoeneß coached the young prospect last year at FC Bayern II; the predominant reason he was so adamant about bringing the Alabama native in on loan from the German giants in January.

"An interesting statement," Hoeneß noted when asked about Richards' comments at a presser today, "I think it's basically positive, but for us it's mainly a manner of reaching the next round. On the one hand, we need a certain humility. The optimism from Chris nevertheless makes for a good mix."

Richards has played in two league fixtures and on UEL match since arriving in Sinsheim. Analyses of his performances conducted for this website award him very strong marks for both his Bundesliga games.

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