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There is still plenty of belief in both camps after Luuk de Jong's penalty was all that separated FC Twente and ten-man FC Schalke 04 in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League round of 16 tie in Enschede.
Twente's Leroy Fer feels that "1-0 isn't a bad position to be in" while Schalke's Lewis Holtby is "confident we can beat them at home". Both Willem Janssen of the hosts and the visitors' Chinedu Obasi commented on the fantastic atmosphere and mutual respect between supporters; the home fans even unveiled a huge banner behind the goal which read, in Twente red and Schalke blue: "Two clubs, two colours, one passion."
Willem Janssen, Twente midfielder
Schalke are tough opponents. Our aim before the match was to keep a clean sheet and score, and we managed that. It was a typical first leg, with few clear chances. They wanted to limit the damage after the penalty and red card so dropped deeper and played on the counterattack, and we lacked the cutting edge to create clear chances.
There's a strong bond between the two clubs, you saw that when our fans applauded the Schalke players as they left the pitch. That's the way it should always be.
Leroy Fer, Twente midfielder
We had a couple of good opportunities after the penalty but couldn't convert. It's a shame we couldn't force a second goal, although 1-0 is not a bad position to be in. It was certainly a midfield tussle. They have good players like [Jermaine] Jones and [Marco] Höger, but we did well too and stood our ground. We'll discuss how best to approach the return, but the same as tonight – not conceding and maybe even pinching a goal – would obviously be great.
Lewis Holtby, Schalke midfielder
This was not the result we were looking for but it is not too bad.
We'll give it everything we've got at home and try to produce fireworks. I hope we have some of our injured attackers back, like Jefferson Farfán and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. I know that Klaas-Jan is really motivated to score against his fellow countrymen. It's always good to have him around the box, he's so dangerous and obviously we missed him this evening. Twente are a strong team, but I think we are better and I'm confident we can beat them at home by more than 1-0.
Chinedu Obasi, Schalke forward
Our team played very well, but we just have to keep our heads up and work hard. I think we did well on the defensive side – the plan was to defend properly and try and play on the counter. We know what is at stake at the moment, we have to win. Twente are a very good team, they played good football, but I think it will be different at home. Our fans have always been fantastic – it was a good feeling after the game the way they were singing, it makes you want to give more.
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