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Maribor and Celtic both claim upper hand

It was smiles all around after NK Maribor's 1-1 draw with Celtic FC, both camps claiming the edge. UEFA.com has the reaction from the coaches, Tavares and Anthony Stokes.

Anthony Stokes speaks to UEFA.com
Anthony Stokes speaks to UEFA.com ©UEFA.com

NK Maribor captain Tavares warns that his team always play well away from home
Maribor boss Ante Šimundža is happy to be in the tie after the 1-1 draw
Anthony Stokes says Celtic FC "are in pole position" going into Tuesday's return 
The Scottish champions' manager Ronny Dalia labels his players "fantastic"

Tavares, Maribor captain
I'm very satisfied, very happy. We played a home game against Celtic, a big team make no mistake, and it ended 1-1. We had a lot of chances to win, to score the second goal, but 1-1 for the first game was a good result. We have a big opportunity to go through to the group phase.

It was very important to equalise quickly after failing behind – we couldn't give them too much time to settle into the game. We played very well. We played offensively and we tried everything to score a goal. We showed that we have the quality to go through.

Now on to Glasgow. We always play well in the away games, we score away goals. We have a big chance, a big opportunity to score in Glasgow. We'll do everything to win.

Ante Šimundža, Maribor coach
We still are in the tie. In the first half Celtic had more of the game, but in the second half we were better, we created more chances. At the end both teams must be satisfied with the draw.

Celtic got into situations in which we didn't want to see them, especially with high balls into the penalty area where they always had four or five tall players. We have to work on those kind of situations before the second leg. I didn't want to make substitutions earlier because Celtic can switch quickly to the counterattack.

Our forwards were not on the ball enough tonight, their goalkeeper was great. We aren't at our most clinical but we are still improving. The 1-1 scoreline gives a slight advantage to Celtic but we are always looking to score a goal, so we have to go to Glasgow to unpick their defence at least once. We are known as a team who score quite a lot of goals away from home.

Anthony Stokes, Celtic forward
I think we created enough chances to possibly go away with a victory but we are happy enough. We are in pole position now going back. We are ahead in the tie and we are going back to Celtic Park where we fancy our chances.

I think that's normal [to dip in the second half]. We started the game very brightly, but the home team was always going to have a spell in the game. I thought we were quite compact. We saw out the game well, we didn't give them too many clear-cut chances.

Stokes is eager to return to the group stage
Stokes is eager to return to the group stage©AFP/Getty Images

It's not for me to say [if Celtic are favourites to go through]. We are ahead in the tie, like I said. But it is going to be a difficult game. They're a very good technical team. They created some chances tonight, so it'll be difficult going back. But we won't take our eye off the ball. We'll fully focus and give it 100%.

Ronny Daila, Celtic manager
I'm very pleased with the performance tonight. We have seen a well-prepared Celtic team. The players were fantastic for the whole 90 minutes. We created many chances, but at same time we have to be cautious as there is still the second leg in front of us.

I expected Maribor to be like this, they really are a very good team. They were compact, it's really hard to beat them. They play disciplined football and are always dangerous. Maybe Maribor are even more dangerous away than at home. But we have the advantage now with a draw and a goal scored and Maribor are coming to play in front of a full Celtic Park. It's vital we got an away goal.

Our players were better than against Legia a couple of weeks ago. They are more fit now, more confident. Tonight we were closer to winning than Maribor. In the end probably both teams must be satisfied with a draw.

Callum McGregor was very good on the ball, I'm very proud of his performance. I hope he will continue like this in attack and defence. Stefan Johansen was the best defender, he made a fantastic save as you have seen – he is working hard, he is good on the ball, he is a real leader on the pitch.