Bordeaux's Diabaté fearless ahead of last 32
Thursday, December 6, 2012
After his two goals helped to secure top spot in Group D, Cheick Diabaté said FC Girondins de Bordeaux fear no one, a senitment echoed by Newcastle United FC's James Perch.
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After firing FC Girondins de Bordeaux into the round of 32 as Group D winners, Cheick Diabaté sent out a warning shot to any possible opponents in the UEFA Europa League knockout phase, saying the French side fear no one. Diabaté hit both goals as Bordeaux beat Newcastle United FC 2-0 and visiting goalkeeper Rob Elliot told UEFA.com it had been a "bittersweet" night's work in south France.
Cheick Diabaté, Bordeaux forward
Everything went well. We were solid, and tried to do what had been asked of us. We showed our desire, and that has been the case in training. We wanted to stay top of the group, and as we had lost the first game in Newcastle, we did not want to lose a second time. We wanted to go out and get the win to show them we too are good at home.
We will play the second leg of our round of 32 game at home, so we will do all we can to win it. We have to maintain the same attitude, and try to impose ourselves away from home too. I am not afraid of what the draw might bring. It does not matter which team we play. There will be big teams, but we are confident. We are working hard and ready to play.
Matthieu Chalmé, Bordeaux defender
We really wanted to win this evening. We were highly motivated, and wanted to show our qualities. I think we did that well. We defended solidly, and played some good football. We were rewarded for our efforts. Everyone wanted to show the importance of the squad. Even though it was a much-changed Newcastle side, we were too. I think there were many positives and, above all, it is important to have finished top of the group.
James Perch, Newcastle defender
I think it is fair to say we were disappointing tonight. I think the performance was below par for us, even though we had a young side out. I think we should have played better. They played well and deserved the win. The boss wanted to win the group as it gives you an advantage going into the next round. Bordeaux were better than us, they played really well.
At the start of the season, when we came into the competition, it was always something to look forward to. We have qualified for the next round, so we are going to look forward to the team we are going to play, it doesn't matter who it is. It'll be a good experience for the team, the manager, and the club. I think we can progress. We've played really well at home, and haven't conceded too many before tonight. We're a strong team and we can surprise a few people.
Rob Elliot, Newcastle goalkeeper
It is a bittersweet night. As a keeper, you want to make saves, and keep a clean sheet. Overall, we are disappointed with the result. Hopefully we will learn from the defeat as we go on in the competition. We have had a lot of injuries, and we have had to juggle things round, so to qualify is a great achievement. With the quality that we have throughout the squad, we should not fear anyone. You are going to face big teams in this competition, you cannot expect an easy ride through to the semis. If we get a big team, we will just have to take on the challenge.