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Stocker bemoans Basel's fear of Salzburg

"We were a bit afraid of them" conceded FC Basel 1893's Valentin Stocker after a 0-0 draw with FC Salzburg, who Stefan Ilsanker says "will score goals" in the return.

Stocker bemoans Basel's fear of Salzburg
Stocker bemoans Basel's fear of Salzburg ©UEFA.com

FC Basel 1893 and FC Salzburg are eagerly awaiting the chance to right the wrongs in their performances after cancelling each other out in their UEFA Europa League round of 16 first leg at St. Jakob-Park.

Though Fabian Frei credited Basel's resilience after becoming the first side to shut out top-scoring Salzburg in this season's competition, team-mate Valentin Stocker expressed regret that the Swiss champions "were a bit afraid" of the Austrian Bundesliga leaders. After firing blanks for the first time in Europe this term, meanwhile, the visitors set out on the 400km return trip keenly anticipating another chance in front of their home supporters: "We will score goals" promised Stefan Ilsanker.

Fabian Frei, Basel midfielder
We were slow to start in the first 30 minutes against a very strong Salzburg team but after a poor start, we were equal to them. We were not smart enough and maybe tried to play the decisive pass too often. We had chances to score – it's just a pity we couldn't take one. We are the first team not to concede against them and that says a lot about our brilliant defence. It starts in attack though, and we have to compliment Giovanni [Sio] and our midfield too. When we attacked, we lacked sharpness and composure but everything is possible next week. If they score, it will be very difficult because they are very good on the counterattack, but on the other hand, if we score, then they need two to win.

Valentin Stocker, Basel midfielder
We have seen the quality that Salzburg possess but we had too much respect for them and we were a bit afraid. Maybe we spoke too often about their skill and their pressing so we started badly. But in the end, we have seen that we have more than enough quality to get through and if some of our injured players return, that would boost our chances even more.

Stefan Ilsanker, Salzburg midfielder
I would say that the display was positive; we competed well against them. In front of goal we were a bit too hasty, sometimes too indecisive, and we lacked a bit of luck. That's why it ended 0-0. It just didn't work out tonight but we have another game and another 90 minutes in front of 30,000 fans who will push us and we will try to make it through. In the first half, we created some good chances but didn't manage to finish them as we have in recent games. We will produce a lot of chances in Salzburg and score goals.

Péter Gulácsi, Salzburg goalkeeper
Basel were well prepared for the way we play. They made it very difficult for us, though we did the same to them and it was a great battle. We started really well and we had some chances to score and more or less controlled the game. Of course, Basel are a great team and they also had some chances. Altogether I think a draw away is not a bad result. We know that we could have scored but also that we have another game in front of our own fans and a great chance.