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Benedikt Höwedes felt FC Schalke 04 played a major role in their own downfall as the Bundesliga side missed out on a place in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.
Galatasaray AŞ edged into the last eight with a 3-2 triumph at Stadion Gelsenkirchen, leaving Höwedes to rue the hosts' timid first-half display, even if the German international insisted Jens Keller's men could take "positive things" from their European adventure. Midfielder Michel Bastos agreed with his captain, and was keen for the squad to get over their disappointment and quickly re-focus their efforts on the Bundesliga.
Benedikt Höwedes, Schalke defender
It's an enormous disappointment. We had enough chances to win the game, and we gave them them their goals. We can only blame ourselves for not having given absolutely everything in the first half. It wasn't enough. When you look at both legs, then of course the disappointment is all the greater. We were the better team in both games, but Galatasaray scored more goals today and deserved to go through. The things which have made us strong in recent weeks were missing a little today. In spite of that, we've played a great Champions League campaign, and can take many positive things from it.
Teemu Pukki, Schalke forward
Everyone was really disappointed in the dressing room. We all wanted to go through but it didn't happen. The first goal was key and then they scored the second one quite quickly after that. That made things difficult, even if we had chances to score and go through. We're all disappointed, but we've done well. This was our first defeat in the Champions League this season. Perhaps today's not the time to think about what we've done. I had a couple of chances to score, but didn't, so I'm a bit disappointed. It was difficult to get into the game. I'm sad about the result.
Michel Bastos, Schalke midfielder
We played really well in the second half, we had chances, but it wasn't enough. It's a shame as we had a great chance to go through. It's sad, but we have to get our heads up and even if it's not easy to cope with all of that, I think we now have to focus on the league.
Schalke have experience of playing big matches, and there are many players here who have that experience too. Sometimes when you really want to do things right, you really want to do everything to qualify, then you lose concentration. It's the whole squad's fault if we didn't go through. You have to congratulate Galatasaray for going through. We have to look at what we've done wrong during this game and make sure we don't repeat those mistakes in our upcoming league games.
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