"We had to keep our concentration and be really strong mentally," said Didier Ya Konan after he scored the winning goal to guide ten-man Hannover 96 past Group L rivals Levante UD.
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Didier Ya Konan was delighted to score the winning goal for ten-man Hannover 96 in their comeback victory against Levante UD, but it was his side's mental strength that impressed the Ivory Coast forward more than anything. The Bundesliga outfit now sit top of UEFA Europa League Group L but despite their defeat, Levante's Dariusz Dudka took comfort from the fact that FC Twente and Helsingborgs IF drew to leave the Spanish club second.
Didier Ya Konan, Hannover forward
When we went a goal down and a man down we were forced to keep things tight and play on the counterattack. This seemed to work well for us in the end but it was a really hard-fought three points. The rain made the pitch very heavy which made things even more difficult for ten men to play against 11.
We had to keep our concentration and be really strong mentally. We wanted to win this game so that we could top the table. We are really satisfied with the win and for me personally it is great to score the winning goal.
Lars Stindl, Hannover midfielder
We played a really good game after the disappointing early setback. We fought hard with a man down on a heavy pitch. It shows the good spirit we have in the team, to put in such a solid performance in difficult circumstances.
We really wanted to win this game. We know we have a good home record but we have to prove it every time we play here. If we win our home games and steal one or two points away then that should put us in a good position by the end of the group stage.
Dariusz Dudka, Levante midfielder
We started the game well and when we took the lead and Hannover went down to ten men we thought everything was going our way. However, then they controlled the game and created more goalscoring chances than us. Hannover didn't seem to be affected by the loss of Karim Haggui, but we knew they would be strong even with this disadvantage.
Bundesliga sides know how to play in any circumstances. Helsingborg drew with Twente so the group is wide open and at least we are still in second place. As long as we win our home games then we definitely have a chance of qualifying for the next stage.