Yuri Semin hailed a "great success" for his FC Dynamo Kyiv side and Ukrainian football as a whole after "ending a tough year on a high" by defeating Fenerbahçe SK to pip the Turkish club to a UEFA Cup berth.
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Yuri Semin hailed a "great success" not only for his FC Dynamo Kyiv side, who beat Fenerbahçe SK 1-0 to pip last season's UEFA Champions League quarter-finalists to a place in the UEFA Cup, but Ukrainian football in general as the country will have three clubs still competing in Europe in the new year. Visiting coach Luis Aragonés took responsibility for Fenerbahçe finishing bottom of Group G, but called for patience as the club reset their targets on domestic glory.
Yuri Semin, Dynamo coach
It was a very difficult match because a UEFA Cup berth was at stake. It was a match where we needed to get the result at all costs, so we placed an extra emphasis on defence. We had some problems putting the squad together as so many players are out, but the lads did very well, showed total commitment and did exactly what we agreed before. We're happy to end the year on a high note. I also want to congratulate Shakhtar Donetsk and Metalist Kharkiv as it's the first time ever that we'll have three Ukrainian clubs in European competition in the spring; it's a great success for Ukrainian football.
We had some promising counterattacks, but lacked the final pass. It's always the final pass which determines a player's quality and today we didn't have that quality. We've had a decent season in the Champions League as we won at home, won away and collected eight points for the first time in a long time. This was a win for the whole Dynamo team – all the staff, all the players and all the fans who came to support us despite the cold weather. Now we have to rest as it's been a very tough year.
Luis Aragonés, Fenerbahçe coach
Unfortunately we didn't have enough possession tonight to create enough scoring chances and convert at least one of them. We should have been better too when we didn't have the ball, particularly at the back. Last year it was a different team, a different situation, so it is difficult to compare. Yes, the club achieved more last term but we still have the domestic league and cup in front of us so we will try to do as well as we can in those two competitions.
In football, you are good if you are good on the pitch, not on paper. The coach is the one with the biggest responsibility and matches needed to be judged by results. The result shows that I'm to blame as I made a number of mistakes. But I have only been coaching Fenerbahçe for five or six months and it's difficult to expect major achievements in such a short period of time. Let's wait at least a year.