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'Phenomenal feeling' for Šimundža and Maribor

Ante Šimundža believes NK Maribor's success will delight the whole of Slovenia, leaving Ronny Deila to admit Celtic FC "weren't good enough" over the two games.

'Phenomenal feeling' for Šimundža and Maribor
'Phenomenal feeling' for Šimundža and Maribor ©UEFA.com

Coach Ante Šimundža enjoys "phenomenal feeling" after NK Maribor oust Celtic FC
Match winner Tavares hails Maribor's "historic achievement"
Manager Ronny Deila says Scottish title holders "don't deserve to be in the Champions League"
Derk Boerrigter admits Celtic fans "are right to be angry – it's not enough"

Ante Šimundža, Maribor manager
It's very important to qualify – for the club, for us, for all the fans. It's a great thing for Slovenia. This is the way we work, this is what we do and this is what we wanted.

[Comparison with the 1999 win against Lyon:] that was many years ago, it was a different victory but the feeling is phenomenal. We did what we wanted. We worked very hard. This is an important victory for our fans who stood behind us. We want to go on like this. This is very important for our country.

I expected the Celtic we saw today. I knew they were not going to put pressure on us immediately but wait for the second half. It's very hard to play at Celtic Park because of the fans. They put a lot of pressure on visiting teams. I knew how Celtic were going to play, I knew the fans were going to be very tough and ask the players to win. The fans want them to always win.

[Dare] Vršič and Tavares are not slow. They can play the ball quickly. Celtic are a team who don't like to play against opponents who know how to pass the ball. And these players – Tavares, Vršič, [Agim] Ibraimi – were very good defensively. We kept the ball at our feet, we had possession and that's what brought us to the group stage.

Tavares, Maribor forward
It's a big thing in my life [to be in the UEFA Champions League group stage] because 15 years ago Maribor were in the Champions League and now we have this blessing from God once again. I am a Christian and Jesus helped me to score the goal that helped Maribor reach the group stage of the Champions League. For us, for the players, for the club, this is a historic achievement for Slovenian football.

[The goal] was a good moment. The ball came to me and with my right foot I shot and luckily it went in. We were prepared for the game. We knew Celtic are a big club, how they would attack, and with our coach and trainer we did our job. Tactically we deserved to win.

I don't have any wishes [regarding the draw]. For me, it will be a pleasure to play against some of the biggest clubs in Europe in the group stage. We will do our best to win our games.  

Ronny Deila, Celtic manager
The first half wasn't good enough. We were lacking energy and were not aggressive enough. In the second half we were more aggressive, we had more chances and it was a more even game. But they were more effective than us. In the end there’s only one thing to say: we don't deserve to be in the Champions League.

We wanted to pressure them but we were a bit frightened and too protective. But at the end of the first half we started putting more pressure and get more of the ball. We didn't lose because of the defending, we lost because we didn't create anything. We needed more tempo on the ball and that's our job that we need to start right now.

I think we'd have conceded goals if we had been attacking. We lifted ourselves in the second half, we had chances but they scored from their first chance in the second half. That's where it gets difficult.

Of course it's disappointing. It's a hard feeling and I'll have to take it with me and the players and the staff of the whole club. We have to start working, there's no excuse. We have to start building. I hope we can start in the same position next year [in the UEFA Champions League]. I thought we had a good enough team to go through but we didn't do it.

Maribor celebrate victory in Glasgow
Maribor celebrate victory in Glasgow©Getty Images

The Europa League is also a good competition. We're going to play good games too. But we want to be in one place and that's the Champions League. Hopefully we'll have another chance next year. I think we are better now than we were against Legia Warsaw. But again, we're a long way from Champions League level. You can say we were very close, we should have gone through, but when you have two chances and don't take them, there's no excuse. We were not good enough. Now it's the Europa League and we'll do everything to perform in that competition.

Derk Boerrigter, Celtic forward
It went wrong for us in the first half. We never dominated for a single minute and as the half wore on they came at us and created a few chances. The first half was hard for us but we came out in the second and played better. However, we were still unable to create many chances and we couldn't win the game. The movement in the team wasn't great either. If you look at their No10 [Agim Ibraimi], on the ball but also off it, giving passes, he did well. Maybe we should have played like that as well with more movement in midfield and up front.

The fans are right to be angry. It's the same for the players and the technical staff. We're all disappointed with the result. Now we have to get our heads up. The league, the cup games and the Europa League are all there for us and we now have to perform in those games. It's not enough to create two chances. Like I said in the first half we didn't create anything, in the second half we had some shots. [Callum] McGregor had a big chance, Virgil [van Dijk] also. If they go in we're through but they didn't and it's not enough.