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Clubs react to UEFA Europa League draws

Published: Monday 23 June 2014, 17.55CET
FC Shakhter Karagandy know how difficult it will be to repeat their "success" of reaching the group stage last term after learning their first qualifying round opponents.
Clubs react to UEFA Europa League draws
The UEFA Europa League first and second qualifying round draws took place in Nyon ©Getty Images
 
 
Published: Monday 23 June 2014, 17.55CET

Clubs react to UEFA Europa League draws

FC Shakhter Karagandy know how difficult it will be to repeat their "success" of reaching the group stage last term after learning their first qualifying round opponents.

UEFA.com rounds up the reaction to the UEFA Europa League first and second qualifying round draws which took place on Monday. Among the 78 sides involved in the former draw were Kazahkstan's FC Shakhter Karagandy – aware of how difficult it will be for them to repeat their "success" of reaching the group stage last season and Gibraltarian outfit College Europa FC, who are "hoping to give a good account of ourselves" against Liechenstein's FC Vaduz in what their opponents are calling a "historic" tie.

We will attempt to give a good account of ourselves abroad, not just for us but more importantly for the whole of Gibraltar
College Europa's Jamie Bosio

Gareth Sciberras, Birkirkara captain
"I don't know much about our opponents [Diósgyőr], but Hungarian football has always been very strong. Our squad for the coming season will be as competitive as can be, especially with the foreign signings."

Tomislav Sivić, Diósgyőr coach
"We know Birkirkara are a good team. Last year they were champions and they nearly did it again this year; for the last five or six seasons they've consistently played in European competition. They are already playing again and I've seen the coverage of how two days ago they beat Hibernians 3-1. For sure, they're a good team. We're also OK and I am confident but it's not allowed to underestimate anyone.  Everyone should be taken seriously. We can see in the World Cup now that form on paper means nothing."

Alex Muscat, Sliema Wanderers captain
"Just talking about Ferencváros gets the adrenalin running. We all know it will be difficult, but, as always, we will be giving our all regardless of the illustrious name of our opponents. With the addition of Malta captain Michael Mifsud up front we can achieve our goals and our squad will get even stronger with some other acquisitions."

Thomas Doll, Ferencváros coach
"The most important thing for everyone is that we are again in the Europa League. In a draw like this it is not possible to regard drawing any team as a gift. We are well aware that [Sliema] have played European football for many years so our task will not be easy and I feel two tough contests await us. We have ten more days now to prepare fully for the tie."

Clayton Failla, Hibernians midfielder
"We will be meeting Spartak [Trnava] at home first so we will have a good assessment of how our squad for next season will get on. It is still early days in terms of new acquisitions and predictions. Trnava will be a tough nut to crack, but we will be going all out to do well."

Franz Burgmeier, Vaduz captain
"We are very pleased that we have drawn the team [College Europa] from Gibraltar, and that we will be playing in this historic game. In a sporting sense, we want to get to the next round. Although we are now playing in the top division in Switzerland, it will not be easy."

Jamie Bosio, College Europa midfielder
"They [Vaduz] have plenty of European qualifying experience. We can find out plenty about them because they've been on the European football scene since 1992, but it will be difficult for them to find anything on us here in Gibraltar, and that might benefit us. Any of the five teams we could have been drawn with was always going to be difficult in our first European campaign, but we will keep doing what we have been doing for the last three weeks and keep working hard. We will attempt to give a good account of ourselves abroad, not just for us but more importantly for the whole of Gibraltar."

Stephen Kenny, Dundalk manager
"Even being in UEFA competition is exciting as many of our players have not played in Europe before so they are looking forward to it. The prospect of playing Hajduk Split in the [second qualifying] round is interesting, but we will focus solely on the first leg against AS Jeunesse Esch. We will prepare in a professional manner and do our homework."

Vardan Bichakhchyan, Shirak coach
"Shakhter Karagandy were one of the best teams in the hat at this stage and we expect two difficult games. We can judge them by their results last year and we followed them closely enough as [Armenian international] Gevorg Ghazaryan played in Karagandy [on loan in 2013]. It is hard to say if they are in top form now. Anyway, we could have hoped for an easier draw."

©Getty Images

Shakhter coach Viktor Kumykov

Viktor Kumykov, Shakhter Karagandy coach
"After our group stage campaign last year everybody wants to see at least the same from us. However, it is always more difficult to repeat a past success. If we want to succeed we need to get past Shirak first of all. Of course, the Armenian side are not weak opponents, but we still have to beat them."

Samat Smakov, Kairat Almaty captain
"There are no easy opponents in Europe, while Kairat have been absent from UEFA club competition for quite a long time. Kukësi are not that weak as we know their striker, Ivan Perić, very well from his exploits in the Kazakh league. Experience will be crucial in this tie. The more experienced side will have the better chances."

Admir Adžem, Željezničar coach
"What makes me particularly happy is the fact that we will not lose two to three days travelling. Lovćen are our neighbours and we will have the support of our fans in Montenegro. It is good that the first match is at home, so surely we can do something."

Stefan Billborn, Brommapojkarna coach
"It feels good to start away from home. Playing Scandinavian opposition means we have avoided travelling far when we have a league match [against Malmö FF on 6 July] between the Vasa encounters."

Mojaš Radonjić, Lovćen coach
"We are looking forward to our European debut. Željezničar are an experienced side – that is to their advantage. We will prepare as best we can and try to advance to the next round, which would be a big success for us."

Slaven Musa, Široki Brijeg coach
"We wanted to avoid a long journey. Qäbälä are unknown to us. The good thing is that we will play the second match at home. In the two games we hope to be better than our opponents from Azerbaijan."

Ivan Matić, Split coach
"It would be good to win at home first without conceding a goal. We want to travel for the second leg with as few worries as possible. We don't know much about our opponents [Armenia's FC Mika], so our first task is to collect as much information as we can about them. If we manage to defeat them, Hapoel Beer Sheva will be one of the toughest sides in the second qualyfing round."

©Hakber

Pyunik celebrate winning the title

Sargis Hovsepyan, Pyunik coach
"We will face strong opponents. Football in Kazakhstan is on the rise, while FC Astana are one of the best teams in their league. I will need to turn to FC Irtysh Pavlodar coach Vardan Minasyan [his compatriot and former Armenia coach], who has faced them domestically."

Lilian Popescu, Veris Chisinau coach
"We are debutants and any opposition [PFC Litex Lovech] is serious for us. First of all, you have to be mentally prepared. We will gather the information and will try to make a decent impression. Anyway, we will not have an easy task. I see it as 50-50 tie."

Martin Ševela, Trenčín coach
"Serbian football is typically quick with aggressive players, but I know what my team can do and we want to advance. I hope a lot of fans will come to see us play [against FK Vojvodina]."

Samuel Slovák, Slovan Liberec coach
"There were a few Slovakian teams, so I was half expecting that we might be drawn against one of them. Košice are among the strongest sides we could have played. They had a very good season, so we will see what changes they have made to their squad. It will be very important to get the best possible result in the first leg."

Srgan Zaharievski, Metalurg Skopje coach
"Finally we got a favorable draw [against UE Santa Coloma]. I'm glad that we avoided the clubs from Kazakhstan, Armenia and Moldova, who are much stronger than our opponents from Andorra. We must accept that we are favourites, but we will not underestimate Santa Coloma. Nine players have left us this summer. We have a new team and we'll have to prepare very well if we want to reach the next round."

Tommy Wright, St Johnstone manager
"I don't know much about [Luzern] at this stage but we will be doing our homework. From a travelling point of view it's a great draw for the players and the fans. What we didn't want was to be going to some far-flung place that takes a lot of organisation. The fans missed out in Belarus last season, so I'm delighted it's relatively easy to get to Lucerne."

Derek McInnes, Aberdeen manager
"We want to make the most of it now and take strides to improve this team and that means getting Aberdeen into Europe on a regular basis. We are not happy just to be here – we want to succeed. We have to be game ready for Daugava. We have already studied footage of them. We will need our full focus."

Last updated: 29/08/14 0.58CET

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