• ŠK Slovan Bratislava's František Straka is hopeful after the 1-1 draw with FC BATE Borisov
• "There is hope," says the Czech coach after the hosts equalise ten minutes from time
• Aleksandr Yermakovich insists BATE would have taken this result at kick-off
• The BATE boss maintains he is "not disappointed" despite letting a lead slip
František Straka, Slovan Bratislava coach
Of course I am not happy about the goal we conceded, we really wanted to keep a clean sheet at home. However, we must respect the quality of our opponent. We stood up against a good team who regularly play in European competitions. I am satisfied that we fought until the end for the result, because that could be decisive. We showed determination and fighting spirit on the pitch, though maybe not such great quality in our performance. We scored the equaliser and we were not far from adding the winner.
We worked several good opportunities in the first 20 minutes. If we had scored, the game could have gone a different way. Then we stopped playing, BATE took control of the ball and we became nervous. I still think that if we had not conceded the own goal, we would have had a good chance to win the game. Football is about mistakes, we made one. We managed to get back on our feet and equalise. We still have a chance. We must play offensively in the second leg, but we must not go crazy from the start. We have a whole match ahead of us. There is hope.
Seydouba Soumah, Slovan Bratislava forward
It was a very difficult game. We knew BATE played in the Champions League before, but I think we did not make it easy for them. We realised in the last twenty minutes that we can put pressure on them and, after the equaliser, we were confident and really wanted to score the winning goal. We had the chances, but unluckily we missed them. The second leg will be a totally different game. It will be extremely difficult, but we are really looking forward to it.
Erik Čikoš, Slovan Bratislava defender
We cannot be happy with the result, but it is not that bad. Such a result gives us hope in the second leg. We believe in ourselves, we are capable of success in Belarus. It is a pity we did not score from the chances we created early on. They scored the first goal and controlled the game, they are an experienced side and they knew how to handle such a situation. After the equaliser, suddenly they were not so confident at the back.
Róbert [Vittek] proved he is a great player and his goal gives us hope ahead of the second leg. We were waiting for him to recover after injury and we are happy to have him back. Our team is stronger with him. We must take self belief from today's game. I am confident we will score in Belarus. We need to stay compact at the back. We cannot be afraid.
Aleksandr Yermakovich, BATE coach
Before the game we would have taken such a result, but after the game we are not completely satisfied with what we have achieved. We were very close to winning the match. Slovan scored the equaliser thanks to their determination. We are not disappointed, but we feel we could have achieved more here in Bratislava.
We were not really surprised by the strength of Slovan. We knew their strengths and weaknesses. They are a good quality side who play compactly and as a team. It is too early to speak about the second leg. We must take into consideration today's game, first. We have enough time to prepare well for the second leg and prepare the team to play to the best of their abilities.
Denis Polyakov, BATE defender
We scored the first goal of the game and we were confident we could win the match. Slovan showed their quality and determination to fight back and equalise. By scoring the away goal we have gained a definite advantage but then again we are disappointed because we know the result could have been better.
It is difficult to say whether we should have played more offensively after scoring the opener, but I might agree to a certain extent that we could have been more active and not let Slovan push us back in the last minutes of the game. On the other hand, this is a cup tie over two legs, we have what we have and we must prepare well for the next game.
Slovan did not surprise us. Our coaching staff did a good job in preparation and they showed us all the aspects of Slovan that we have witnessed today on the pitch. Not conceding a goal in the second leg will be the key to qualifying for the group stage. I cannot say we will only concentrate on defence. On the contrary, we will play at home and we will play more offensively with the aim of scoring some goals.
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