VfB Stuttgart coach Armin Veh said the eliminated club "owed it to ourselves" to put on a performance, which they did by defeating Rangers FC 3-2.
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VfB Stuttgart may have been out of the UEFA Champions League before tonight's Group E encounter with Rangers FC but coach Armin Veh was determined that his team would play for pride and they secured victory and their first points with a late Ciprian Marica goal. That result means Rangers still need to draw with Olympique Lyonnais at Ibrox on Matchday 6 to progress and despite his disappointment in Germany, manager Walter Smith is looking forward to an "exciting night".
Armin Veh, Stuttgart coach
We said before the match that we owe it to ourselves, our fans and the other teams in the group to give it all we had today. I think we achieved that. Rangers sat deep in their own half, meaning that we had to be patient. We then conceded from a set-piece, which didn’t make life easier for us. It was difficult, but we came back because we have more quality on the pitch now and are calmer in our game. We know that we are capable of creating, and if you have a run like ours in the Bundesliga at the moment, then you have the luck you need as well as the confidence, and that helped us to win in the end today. Given the possession we had, I think we fully deserved to win.
Walter Smith, Rangers manager
Of course it was disappointing to lose in the end but I think we conceded a bad goal just before half-time that gave new impetus to Stuttgart. They started the second half strongly and went on to score another goal. I then have to give my players credit for coming back to equalise. Charlie Adam then had a chance to put us 3-2 up but we then had to change to go for the win near the end. But just as we did we lost another goal and that was it. It was an important game, but unfortunately we did not get the result we wanted. We now have an exciting night to look forward to against Lyon. If we show the same level of endeavour that we have shown throughout the competition, I will be pleased.