FC Anji Makhachkala's Mbark Boussoufa hailed Guus Hiddink's tactical acumen after their success against Hannover 96, who are still in the tie according to Didier Ya Konan.
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FC Anji Makhachkala's Mbark Boussoufa credited Guus Hiddink after the Dutch coach's tactical changes helped his side to a 3-1 victory against Hannover 96 in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League round of 32 tie. The team from Dagestan were playing their first competitive match of 2013 and took time to settle before finding their groove. However, with an away goal to their name, "everything is still possible" according to Hannover's Mohammed Abdellaoue who, along with team-mate Didier Ya Konan, was left to rue defensive errors.
Odil Ahmedov, Anji midfielder
This was our first competitive match of the year so it was difficult early on. However, as the game progressed, we hit our stride and managed to earn an important victory. Hannover are a side in good form and I have only got good things to say about them.
A 3-1 result is a good scoreline to take into the return leg, but it's a shame we conceded. We could have won by a wider margin – we had the opportunity from the penalty spot which we didn't take – but that is football. We will only know who is the stronger of the two teams after the game in Germany.
Mbark Boussoufa, Anji forward
We started with three forwards and three midfielders, but as soon as they scored the coach decided to change things around and play Willian behind Samuel Eto'o up front and two wingers. This gave us more options and I think that is what changed the game as we began to play more offensively and were creating chances.
At the start of the game we could feel that the rhythm was not totally there. We were not used to playing as we only began training a month ago. We didn't have a lot of games in our legs, but in the second half – especially in the last 20 minutes – we were still creating chances, still going for it. With time our match fitness will return.
Didier Ya Konan, Hannover forward
They played really well and it was very difficult for us. We still have the second leg to play at home and we will see what happens. I thought we created some good chances, which we did not take, but that's football. Anji also had chances and they scored three goals. It's not easy for us at the moment as our defensive statistics are not good. We will work hard to solve this problem and hopefully we'll get a good result in the next game.
Mohammed Abdellaoue, Hannover forward
We had a good period in the first 15 or 20 minutes but then you saw Anji's quality, with a lot of good attacking players. It was really disappointing to concede so soon after scoring and we know this is something we have to improve when we return to Hannover. Anything is possible in the return and we are looking forward to that already. I think it will be a very open game and hopefully we can get back into the tie. We need to focus on what we can do and what problems we can cause Anji.