Qualifying round draws: best of the reaction

UEFA.com rounds up the best of the reaction from the teams involved after the UEFA Champions League first and second qualifying draws were made in Nyon, Switzerland.

The UEFA Champions League second qualifying round draw balls
The UEFA Champions League second qualifying round draw balls ©Getty Images for UEFA

UEFA Champions League first and second qualifying draws

Denis Rassulov, FC Milsami Orhei defender
This will be our debut in the UEFA Champions League and we understand there are no easy draws. Maybe it could have been be a bit easier, but in the end we have got Ludogorets – the strongest opponents from the possible options, in my opinion. They are the strongest side from Bulgaria in recent years. We have a chance in theory, but we'll see if we have the same chance on the pitch.

Boban Grncarov, FK Vardar defender
We're paired with the most difficult club we could have faced. I played for APOEL and I know very well they're a club with a great tradition and a lot of Champions League experience. APOEL have a special place in my heart as the club with whom I played in the Champions League group stage for the first time [in 2009/10]. I want to repeat that with Vardar. APOEL have very good players, but they're weaker now than they were three or four years ago. It's good we are playing away from home first.

Glen Riddersholm of Midtjylland
Glen Riddersholm of Midtjylland©Getty Images

Glen Riddersholm, FC Midtjylland coach
We have to be honest; this is an extremely fortunate draw [against the winner of Lincoln FC v FC Santa Coloma]. Those are two teams we should be able to defeat, and this should enable us to reach our peak at the right times in the long autumn season. The character of the opponents also gives us the chance to settle new players in our team and to get stronger.

Jurģis Pučinsks, FK Ventspils coach
HJK [Helsinki] have been Finland's strongest team for many years, their class is beyond doubt. Ventspils played HJK in the UEFA Cup back in 2001. My assistant Maris Smirnovs and our sporting director Andrejs Butriks played back then so they have something to remember. Ventspils have just one option; seriously prepare for tough games.

Liam Walker, Lincoln FC midfielder
We have to be happy with the draw: playing Santa Coloma with the first leg at home. Now we can start working in training, and start looking at their strengths and weaknesses so we can go into the game knowing what to expect from them. There's no doubt it will be a tough task but we will give it our all and hopefully get through.

Dženan Uščuplić, FK Sarajevo coach
We have got very strong opponents [KKS Lech Poznań], maybe the strongest possible. But we have the strength and quality to progress. The role of the favourites we leave to the Polish team.

Hibernians were drawn with Maccabi Tel-Aviv
Hibernians were drawn with Maccabi Tel-Aviv©Domenic Aquilina

Branko Nisevic, Hibernians FC coach
Well, it is not an easy opponent at all! Maccabi Tel-Aviv have been competing in the UEFA Champions League for quite a good number of years now and are very experienced in this competition. They are also the club with most titles in Israel so everything points to a very difficult opposition. They will start as firm favourites but we do have the ability to give our opponents a very good challenge over these two legs.

Aleksandr Yermakovich, FC BATE Borisov coach
Dundalk are an unknown quantity for us. I struggle to guess their level because it is not easy to follow the Irish league closely from Belarus. BATE played Irish club Bohemians in 2003. I did not take part but I know how difficult it was for us in their stadium. The fans got behind their team with great passion and put serious pressure on us.

Stephen Kenny, Dundalk FC manager
BATE Borisov is about the toughest draw we could have got. They have the highest coefficient of all the teams we could have met because they have been in the Champions League so often. We're high on confidence on the back of our domestic form – we have had only one defeat in 20 games this season – and we learned a lot from our good experience in the UEFA Europa League last season where we won three out of our four games.

John Kennedy, Celtic FC assistant manager

Daníel Laxdal, Stjarnan defender
We have mixed feelings. It is great to meet Celtic but I think they are the most difficult team we could have met. We saw them against KR last year and know it will be hard work in defence. Last season we showed anything is possible if we are at our best [Stjarnan beat Motherwell FC en route to the UEFA Europa League play-offs] so hopefully we can do something similar. Celtic will start their season against us and that might help a little but we are up against a great team.

Zoran Mamić, GNK Dinamo Zagreb coach
CS Fola Esch are champions of Luxembourg which means they have a habbit of winning and taking trophies. But, it's clear that we are a better team and we are the favourites. Of course, I am not expecting them to give up already. We have to be at a high level, need to play two quality matches and show that we are better not only on paper, but also on the pitch.

Helmuth Duckadem, Steaua president
I would have been happy to play against a weaker team in order to have time to integrate the new players. But if we want to reach the group stage we have to overcome such a situation and defeat strong teams. Anyway, we can qualify with the current squad. We have to be optimistic.

Deividas Šemberas, FK Žalgiris Vilnius captain
We don't have to fear anyone or anything. It would be something else if reached the group stage. But for now I believe we can fight [Malmö FF] for a place in the next round. It would be even better if our opponents underestimate us.

Nedjeljko Vlahović, FK Rudar Pljevlja captain
Qarabağ are favourites, but they have to prove that on the field. We will be ready to play well and we'll see what happens. It would not be a first time that the underdogs makes a surprise in UEFA competitons.

Domingos Paciência must guide APOEL past Vardar
Domingos Paciência must guide APOEL past Vardar©AFP/Getty Images

Domingos Paciência, APOEL FC coach
In football there are no such things as easy games. We need to find out as much information as we can about our opponents [FK Vardar]. Like us, they are still in pre-season mode so we need to begin keeping an eye on them. We are APOEL which means that we have a great history and a great duty to achieve our target; sealing our place in the next round. 

Marko Kristal, FC Levadia Tallinn
We have to progress past one qualifying round even though we are drawn against the strongest of possible teams. Now we will start to gather information and see what they are capable of and how we should play against them. As for our next possible rivals [KF Skënderbeu in the second qualifying round], Albanian football is on the rise at the moment. All-out attack would do us no good.

Astana take on Maribor
Astana take on Maribor©Stanislav Filippov

Stanimir Stoilov, FC Astana coach
Maribor would be the favourites in any pair and of course they are favourites in our pair as well. They played in the group stage last year competing with Chelsea, Sporting and Schalke. We should hit the peak of our form and try to play our football. Of course Maribor are favourites, but everything is possible.

Eydun Klakstein, B36 Tórshavn coach
It was a relief to avoid a long journey but we did not get our dream draw, which was to play against Santa Coloma from Andorra. Of the four clubs we could draw today, New Saints were the strongest team. New Saints are probably just a little bit stronger than Faroese clubs, but not so strong that we cannot beat them. The goal is to make progress from the first qualifying round. That is of course a big and demanding task, but we have high hopes and will prepare as well as we can for these matches.

Roland Juhász, Videoton FC defender
In the Champions League there are no easy matches and the teams are getting increasingly better at this level. Our task will not be easy. We don't have much time now to put together a team for the new season with new players and a new coach, but we will do everything we can to be successful in progressing to the next round.

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