Galatasaray want to improve on last year but go to Astana having lost 2-0 at home to Atlético Madrid. Selçuk İnan assesses what went wrong and how they can put it right.
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On why it went wrong last season ...
Last season was difficult for us in Europe. To be honest, in the domestic league, there was a fourth star that was waiting to be taken. Whether we wanted it or not, my team-mates and I all focused on getting hold of that fourth star. Perhaps as a result we did not manage to focus enough on the Champions League. But this year our goal is to repeat the success we've had in previous campaigns, starting by getting out of the group stage. I think we will manage that, because we are a strong team, and one that is used to competing in the Champions League.
We were so focused on that game that in the first half we were only thinking about Atlético Madrid and how to stop them. I think that was a mistake, because we are also a good team built out of a strong squad. Perhaps if we had focused on different aspects of the game, the outcome could have been different.
On having 23 shots, and only three on target ...
Of course that isn't just about a lack of luck. Maybe it's also to do with not trying the right way, or not trying hard enough. In the second half, we had desire to go further, and it is very important to have that desire. Today you might try hard and get a lot of goalscoring opportunities without getting them on target, but if you keep working hard and trying, you will find the target in the end.
On visiting Astana ...
In the Champions league, you feel pressure in every game, not just this one, because there is always an objective to go further. Of course this game against Astana is very important, just like the one against Atlético – they are all important. Obviously after losing the first game this game has become even more important, and we need to get the three points in order to get out of the group stage. That is exactly what we are focusing on, and I believe we will be ready for that game.
We are familiar with teams from Kazakhstan. In fact, we've played against their national team on a number of occasions. They know their capabilities when playing, they are very strong and they always fight for it. They stay focused for the whole 90 minutes, and they always play as a whole. Benfica struggled to win that game. We are also going to struggle, but in order to win against teams like that, you have to work at least as hard as them, and have belief. I also think that we have a better team than them, and if we stay focused I believe we will win.
On not having won an away UEFA Champions League game since March 2013 ...
To be honest, I wasn't aware of that, which means that it is not so important for us. It is very difficult to get into the Champions League as you have to win the league, and you can only go once a year. To be honest, that is what we think about, we want to make it to the Champions League every year. This is the fourth consecutive year in which we're taking part in the competition, and that is an important statistic.
Maybe the last time we won away was two years ago, but that is not so important, because it's not that long a time. Also, we've managed to get out of the group stage two years in a row, reach the quarter-finals and the last 16. Those are important accomplishments, and hopefully we will get rid of the statistic you mentioned in the game against Astana.