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Pleased to have qualified for the UEFA Europa League round of 32 despite defeat at FC St Gallen, Swansea City AFC's group stage report still reads 'must do better', according to midfielder Jonathan De Guzmán.
The Netherlands international was in philosophical mood after the English League Cup holders progressed to the knockout rounds, putting their four-match sequence without a win in Group A down to experience. St Gallen's Roberto Rodriguez, meanwhile, was satisfied that the campaign ended "in the right way".
Jonathan De Guzmán, Swansea midfielder
We're very happy with going through because it wasn't easy. Playing in Europe is great for the club and great for the players and it's also new for a lot of players. We could have made it a lot easier on ourselves in previous games and maybe that comes down to the experience that we have in Europe. We got the job done but at the end of the day, we have to look at ourselves in the mirror and know that we didn't have to take it to the last game [to qualify].
The Europa League is all about results and the draw that we got in Russia and at home to them [FC Kuban Krasnodar] – gaining those points are what we need and it's a lesson that we have to take to the next round. We're fit enough for the next round and for me, it's the first time as I've always lost at the group stage with my previous teams.
Wilfried Bony, Swansea forward
It's good for the team to be through but not for the result today. We had some chances to score but after that, they gained confidence and it was difficult for us. We were good in the first half and I think we should have scored a few but the most important thing is the qualification. We will see now [about the draw] because football is crazy but we will be ready for that game.
Mario Mutsch, St Gallen midfielder
Well, we gave it all we had, even though there was nothing to play for. It was important to perform well here at home and in the end we benefited from that. I am proud of the team, and I think that everybody can be proud of how they performed. [The UEFA Europa League] was a fantastic experience. Every one of us had the chance to see how good the competition is.
The season is still long, but our objective has to be to get back there. And if we manage to perform like we did tonight, then anything is possible. We have to keep both feet on the ground and then see at the end of the season where we are. And then, why not get to this stage again?
Roberto Rodriguez, St Gallen midfielder
We played 90 minutes of power football and we deserved the victory. We showed tonight that we are strong at home and that we can beat anyone. We said before the match that we wanted to finish our European campaign in the right way and that is what we did.
The away results were not good but I think the other three teams are just stronger than us. We managed to play well and keep up at Europa League level. We put in some good performances – our match in Swansea for example, where we played well, and we won our first match. Then we were taught a lesson in the next two matches and then against Valencia at home we performed well too. We won this last match, and that is the most important thing. I think we can be happy with our Europa League campaign.
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