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Coaches glad of winning starts

Published: Friday 22 October 2004, 10.58CET
Feyenoord coach Ruud Gullit was one of seven coaches from teams in Groups A-D celebrating winning starts.
Published: Friday 22 October 2004, 10.58CET

Coaches glad of winning starts

Feyenoord coach Ruud Gullit was one of seven coaches from teams in Groups A-D celebrating winning starts.

The UEFA Cup group stage got under way last night with 32 teams in action. uefa.com rounds up the reaction from the clubs in Groups A-D.

Group A
Feyenoord 3-0 Heart of Midlothian FC

It took us a while to get used to the Scottish team's style of play. We were expecting kick and rush but were surprised by their unusually defensive play. We then changed our tactics and were very professional without playing very well. But who cares? We started with a victory and that's all that counts. Feyenoord coach Ruud Gullit

We didn't expect an easy match but we're still disappointed, although Feyenoord deserved to win. When the draw was made I thought this would be our toughest match. With their quality in the forward areas and in midfield they'll score goals against most teams. Hearts coach Craig Levein

FC Schalke 04 1-1 FC Basel 1893
A draw is OK for us. We performed decently in the first half, especially going forward. Our chances came after we passed the ball through their midfield four, although we probably missed the chance to win the game in that period. Schalke coach Ralf Rangnick

We were disciplined and stuck to our game plan even after their early goal. We knew we might need to score from a set-piece and so it proved. It was a great goal by Matías Delgado, who has had a tough time. Overall it was a good away game but not an extraordinary one - if that was the case we would have won. However, this could turn out to be an extremely important point for us. Basel coach Christian Gross

Group B
FC Steaua Bucuresti 2-0 R. Standard de Liège
It was a tough match - physically Standard were stronger than us. Our technical skill was better, though, and that's why we kept the ball on the ground. The fact we've beaten a team who've not conceded a goal in their last five away games represents a real achievement for my team and proved that Steaua can play with pride against any European side. I'm proud but will not think about Parma until after our next league outing. Steaua coach Walter Zenga

We played this match as we'd planned, disrupting Steaua's organisation and rhythm. That's why I consider the final score harsh on us. They scored when they were in trouble and we were experiencing our best period of play. If we hadn't conceded an own goal then the result would have been different. We were more open after going 1-0 down but you have to score when you create five or six chances. Standard coach Dominique D'Onofrio

Athletic Club Bilbao 2-0 Parma FC

The fans thoroughly enjoyed themselves because we have taken three very important points and done so with some highly attractive football. I don't believe Parma came here for a stroll. It's true that their league position is more of a concern but no more so than it is for us. Athletic coach Ernesto Valverde

I'm satisfied with the performance as I selected a number of players who do not play very often and I feared we would have more problems. We still have every chance of qualifying from the group stage and must also improve our form domestically. Parma coach Silvio Baldini

Group C
FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk 3-2 Club Brugge KV
I'm very happy that my players found the strength to change the course of the game in our favour. This is a very important win that will give us a psychological boost. I think Brugge are the strongest team in our group, that's why these three points could prove to be very valuable. Dnipro coach Yevgeniy Kucherevskiy

After we went 2-1 up we lost control of the game. The Ukrainians were lucky; they scored an incredible equaliser and the third goal came from an unlikely situation. We're upset by the defeat, but this is a group stage and the battle has just begun - we will prove ourselves. Brugge coach Trond Sollied

Real Zaragoza 2-0 FC Utrecht

We produced a great performance and only struggled in terms of goals, given we were the team who created most of the chances. My players put in a worthy effort, played intelligently and created some good opportunities - the only thing was it took so long for the goals to arrive. Zaragoza coach Víctor Muñoz

There's no shame in losing here. I had a feeling that the game would finish 0-0 as our organisation was good but one moment of slackness can be punished immediately; against an opponent of this quality mistakes are fatal. That said, we did what we could and recovered well from the heavy league defeat by Groningen last Sunday. Utrecht coach Foeke Booy

Group D
FC Dinamo Tbilisi 0-2 FC Sochaux-Montbéliard

Considering this was our debut at such a level we put in a decent display. Injuries affected us but there is still everything to play for so we'll strive to finish at least in third place. Dinamo coach Georgy Geguchadze

I think the absence of some important players told for Dinamo. We were confident throughout - even in the second half when they were pushing forward I felt safe. Sochaux coach Guy Lacombe

Panionios NFC 0-1 Newcastle United FC
Our main aim today was not to concede and then see what we could accomplish going forward. We chose defensive tactics because Newcastle have high quality midfielders and strikers, and managed to hold on for 85 minutes. If the match were to be played again I would choose the same tactics and make the same substitutions. Panionios coach Karol Pecze

I think there was only one team ever going to win that game, we were much more positive and got our just reward. Penalties are always a nerve-wracking situation but I've had enough of them to be calm now, although it's always difficult and you're always under pressure whether it's at the start of the match or the end. Our aim is to finish top of this group so it was vital we got three points tonight. Newcastle scorer Alan Shearer

Last updated: 22/10/04 14.16CET

Related information

Team profiles

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/news/newsid=248714.html#coaches+glad+winning+starts

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