Brad Friedel said Tottenham Hotspur FC are determined to go all the way in this season's UEFA Europa League after a 3-1 victory over Panathinaikos FC put them in the round of 32.
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Having safely negotiated runners-up spot in Group J thanks to a 3-1 win against Panathinaikos FC at White Hart Lane, Tottenham Hotspur FC goalkeeper Brad Friedel told UEFA.com about manager André Villas-Boas's burning desire to reach the latter stages of the competition with the north Londoners. Meanwhile, defender Kostas Triantafyllopoulos and goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis reflected on the disappointment of the Greens' early exit.
Brad Friedel, Tottenham goalkeeper
I think we were in control for the majority of the game. There was a little spell of about 15 minutes in the second half when they scored and had another chance, but once that second chance didn't fall for them we went back in the ascendency again, and in the end saw it out quite comfortably.
Everyone's very excited about the knockout stages. The manager's not minced his words – he wants to go and win the competition. No matter who we're drawn against we'll put out a very strong team I'm sure. Over the years some people have wanted to demean the Europa League but if you look at the teams in the final 32, it's a pretty strong competition. There will be a host of teams who might not consider themselves favourites, but who will have an equal chance of winning the competition – and we will be one of those teams. We'll be good to play just about anyone. We look forward to whoever we're drawn against.
Kostas Triantafyllopoulos, Panathinakos defender
We came to win but they played better than us in the first half. When we got the goal we felt we could win, but as soon as they got the second it became difficult for us. I felt we had a good game and can learn lessons going into the match against Olympiacos [at the weekend]. I am happy to be in the team and I am happy to have played today.
We put in a lot of effort but didn't have enough life in us at the end. I was happy with my own performance and pleased with the performance of my team against such a big club. I don't think we can be judged on one game. There were five games before this, and we should have done better. If we play with the same desire and the same strength as we did tonight, we can win against Olympiacos.
Orestis Karnezis, Panathinaikos goalkeeper
Overall we played a good game. After the second goal we played badly but Tottenham were strong. We didn't play our own game. I think they kept the ball well but we didn't defend. I think we can take things forward to our game against Olympiacos. We need to work harder as a team but we’ll treat that game differently.