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Players and coaches react to play-off draw

"We have no fear. We can take on anyone." UEFA.com wraps up the reaction from across the continent as teams digest their UEFA Europa League play-off draws.

Astana are eager to cause another upset in the play-offs
Astana are eager to cause another upset in the play-offs ©Vladimir Shapovalov

FK Sarajevo (BIH) v VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach (GER)
Dženan Uščuplić, Sarajevo coach: "We got an extremely difficult draw, but we won't give up. Borussia are definitely favourites, but we will play the best we can and try to surprise them. It is important also that the fans in Sarajevo will have a chance to see a quality team from the home of the world champions."
Christoph Kramer, Mönchengladbach midfielder: "I am really looking forward to this because I have never played an international game at club level. Sarajevo may not be known as Europe's footballing capital, but they have very passionate fans and we must prepare to play in a lion's den."

FC Astana (KAZ) v Villarreal CF (ESP)
Baurzhan Dzholchiyev, Astana forward: "Villarreal are a good team, but it is all down to us. We have no fear. We can take on anyone."

PEC Zwolle (NED) v AC Sparta Praha (CZE)
Vítězslav Lavička, Sparta coach: "We have pleasant memories of our tie against Feyenoord two years ago. Zwolle are tough opponents too, though they are in Europe for the first time. They showed their class by winning the Dutch Cup."
Lukáš Mareček, Sparta defender: "I played against Zwolle twice – we won one and drew one. I think we are capable of progressing to the group stage."

Asteras Tripolis FC (GRE) v Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC (ISR)
Staikos Vergetis, Asteras coach: "Maccabi Tel-Aviv have a fine tradition against Greek clubs, but we believe traditions can be broken. We avoided Tottenham, which was good, and now we are up for a huge challenge. Usually we have played the decisive legs at home, but now we have the first leg in Tripolis and we need to get a positive result."

©Getty Images

FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk (UKR) v HNK Hajduk Split (CRO)
Myron Markevych, Dnipro coach: "Hajduk are a good team who play attacking football. They scored five goals in two matches against Shakhter Karagandy, though they also conceded four. I have seen them in action previously, but now we need to study them because every year they have lots of new players. A well-known one in Ukraine, Artem Milevskiy, has joined recently. I think they will be interesting games for us and for them."
Sven Tino Sušić, Hajduk midfielder: "They are a big name in Ukrainian football and it won't be easy for us. They are a quality team, very strong. But if we are at our best, we shouldn't be afraid. We need to be brave in the first match, try to get a good result and then in the second leg try to secure a place in the group stage. If we get a good result in the first match, our great fans can help us through."

Qarabağ FK (AZE) v FC Twente (NED)
Alfred Schreuder, FC Twente coach:
"I do not really know much about them yet, but I saw that they were only just knocked out of the Champions League by Salzburg. At home in that tie, they won 2-1 and in Austria they lost 2-0. Just like the other clubs we could have drawn, Qarabağ are a good opponent. We want to reach the next stage and we have to make that plain in our attitude."

HJK Helsinki (FIN) v SK Rapid Wien (AUT)
Zoran Barišić, Rapid coach: "We're coming up against a top Finnish team and we will prepare accordingly. It's nicer for us to play in Finland than in Russia."

FC Zimbru Chisinau (MDA) v PAOK FC (GRE)
Anatoli Cheptine, Zimbru midfielder: "I had a feeling we would get PAOK. It's a pity the first game will be in Chisinau. In the previous rounds we started away from home and made it through. We play better away because counterattacking football is natural for us. It will be hard, but anything can happen in football."

AC Omonia (CYP) v FC Dinamo Moskva (RUS)

Olympique Lyonnais (FRA) v FC Astra (ROU)
Hubert Fournier, Lyon coach: "I wanted a return leg at home, in the Gerland, but it will be at thir place. I think we can expect a lively game in Romania." Fournier also said that full-back Henri Bedimo will be out of action for three weeks with an injury sustained last night.

Neftçi PFK (AZE)v FK Partizan (SRB)


IF Elfsborg (SWE) v Rio Ave FC (POR)
Klas Ingesson, Elfsborg coach: "It is great. This is the team that I personally would have liked to face. I feel we have it all in our own hands; if we lose we'll have no excuses. It's good that Blåvitt [IFK Göteborg] have played them already. I hope to have a good chat with [IFK coach Mikael] Stahre so we can get some help from them."
António Silva Campos, Rio Ave president: "Elfsborg are a team with European experience. We have to respect them and gather more information. We have to believe in ourselves. It's the second team from Sweden we have come up against, and if we have the same luck against this opponent we'll reach our main goal, which is the group stage."

Kardemir Karabükspor (TUR) v AS Saint-Étienne (FRA)
Tolunay Kafkas, Karabükspor coach: "We are inexperienced and this is a disadvantage for us, but we are hungry for success. Reaching the group stage is more important than the domestic league for us because we prepared ourselves for this competition. It is not a chance you get every day."

©Getty Images

Panathinaikos FC (GRE) v FC Midtjylland (DEN)
Giannis Anastasiou, Panathinaikos coach: "Midtjylland are relatively unknown to the Greek public, but opponents from Scandinavian countries are never easy. We will watch them as their league has already started and study them with the aim of being as well prepared as possible for the two ties. At this level, anything can happen and we must be alert and make the most of our chances."
Glen Riddersholm, Midtjylland coach: "We would have preferred to meet Sheriff, while we wanted to avoid Inter and Real Sociedad, so I would say Panathinaikos are somewhere in the middle. There is no doubt they will be a bit of a handful and right now they are building up after having been in the shadow of Olympiacos for a while. No doubt they have a better team than we do right now, but we may gain something by being better prepared. This is an interesting draw and the task is not impossible."

Grasshopper Club (SUI) v Club Brugge KV (BEL)
Michael Skibbe, Grasshoppers coach: "There were no easy draws here. From a sporting perspective, we can certainly get a result against Brugge."
Michel Preud'homme, Club Brugge coach: "Grasshoppers are not the easiest opponents but also not the most difficult from the ones we could have drawn, but anyway they are a club with a big reputation. For this double-header, I am happy we are playing away first, since we will play a big domestic match against RSC Anderlecht four days after the return."

HNK Rijeka (CRO) v FC Sheriff (MDA)
Miral Samardžić, Rijeka defender: "It is a good feeling. I will be up against my old team – I was their captain before I came to Rijeka. They are one of the best sides we could have drawn, given the names that were in the hat. They've got some fast wingers and their style is to play down the flanks and then on individual strength, but our strength is strong team play and I believe we will show that against them."
Veaceslav Rusnac, Sheriff coach: "It is pure coincidence that we are often drawn against Croatian teams. I know Rijeka are Croatian league runners-up and Super Cup holders. Our former captain Miral Samardžić plays for them. There is just one step to the UEFA Europa League group stage. We are determined to win this tie."

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Apollon Limassol FC (CYP) v FC Lokomotiv Moskva (RUS)
Roman Shishkin, Lokomotiv defender: "I've heard of Apollon but, to tell the truth, I can't tell you much about them. I think the same goes for most of our players. I think we are the favourites and should beat them. It's good we play the first leg away. At home, there are always more chances to change the situation for the better."

BSC Young Boys (SUI) v Debreceni VSC (HUN)

FC Spartak Trnava (SVK) v FC Zürich (SUI)
Urs Meier, Zürich coach: "They are an unknown quantity for us and we certainly have to study them in greater depth. We will collect as much information as we can. Spartak Trnava have already come through three qualifying rounds and we need to take them seriously."

AEL Limassol FC (CYP) v Tottenham Hotspur FC (ENG)

FC Dinamo Minsk (BLR) v CD Nacional (POR)

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FC Petrolul Ploieşti (ROU) v GNK Dinamo Zagreb (CRO)
Zoran Mamić, Dinamo coach: "We are facing one of the best teams in the Romanian league – we lost against them in a friendly game in Slovenia, but that doesn't mean much. Those are warm-up games, but they obviously command respect. Their victory over Viktoria Plzeň in the last qualifying round shows they are a strong team. We will try to prepare as best we can."

Trabzonspor AŞ (TUR) v FC Rostov (RUS)
Vahid Halilhodzić, Trabzonspor coach: "By this stage all teams are difficult. Our opponents finished seventh last season in Russia but they are not a side I know well. My biggest concern is our not being completely ready: we haven't finished our transfer activity yet. We will need the support of our fans to advance to the group stage. Heading into the return with a victory from Trabzon would be a big advantage."
Miodrag Božović, Rostov coach: "Trabzonspor are a good team with experienced players. [Florent] Malouda, [José] Bosingwa and Óscar Cardozo, who was bought from SL Benfica recently, are all very strong players. Rostov have a chance and everything depends on us. I am glad we will play away from home first. It might even be a positive for our players. It will be a proper footballing atmosphere."

RNK Split (CRO) v Torino FC (ITA)
Ivan Matić, Split coach: "I think we have opponents who we can stand up to I believe we have a chance to reach the Europa League group stage. Torino are still not match fit. I think we will be in better form when the games come around and we will try to use the advantage of playing the first match at home."
Giampiero Ventura, Torino coach: "We haven't been very lucky as we are up against a team in better shape than us. They have played nine games so far this season, six in the UEFA Europa League qualifiers and three in the league, without a single defeat. They are ahead of Hajduk in the league, so they are definitely a good team. We have ambitions, though, so the name of our opponents shouldn't matter. The most important thing will be our attitude on the pitch."

FC Aktobe (KAZ) v Legia Warszawa (POL)
Almat Bekbaev, Aktobe goalkeeper: "Myself and the rest of the squad wanted to be drawn against Internazionale Milano, but we got Legia. It's possible that they will underestimate us."

KSC Lokeren OV (BEL) v Hull City (ENG)

Willy Reynders, Lokeren sporting director: "We could have had a worse draw. For the fans, this must be fantastic – just cross the Channel and there is an English club to play. It is also positive that we are at home for the first game. I expect a full house."

Ruch Chorzów (POL) v FC Metalist Kharkiv (UKR)
Volodymyr Homenyuk, Metalist striker: "I think Ruch Chorzów are a mid-level team but not an easy opponent. It's good that we play the first leg away. In the second match we might need the support of our fans to break their resistance. Anyway, we will play for a win in Chorzow because it's important to get the best possible result in the first game."

PSV Eindhoven (NED) v FC Shakhtyor Soligorsk (BLR)
Sergei Borovski, Shakhtyor coach: "They are very good opponents – really high-profile. I like the philosophy of Dutch football. There is no doubt PSV are favourites, but everything will be decided on the pitch. Whoever prepares best will go through. As I said after the Belarusian Cup final, we can only measure how good our teams are in Europe. And the stronger your opponent, the better you see both your good and weak points."

©Eva Björk

Stjarnan (ISL) v FC Internazionale Milano (ITA)
Rúnar Páll Sigmundsson, Stjarnan coach: "It feels like we are still up in the sky. We heard the news at touchdown and celebrated like crazy."
Veigar Páll Gunnarsson, Stjarnan forward: "This has been an insane experience for us and now we are going to play at San Siro. To play with Stjarnan, my boyhood club, against a team [like Inter] is a dream come true."
Javier Zanetti, former Inter captain and current vice-president: "I was making my debut as an Inter director at a draw and I'm happy. We care a lot about this competition and we want to go all the way. We won't underestimate anybody because all teams are dangerous in Europe. Our opponents have already played three rounds in the competition so they are obviously in better shape than us."

Feyenoord (NED) v FC Zorya Luhansk (UKR)
Yuriy Vernydub, Zorya coach: "We didn't expect easy opponents at this stage. Feyenoord are one of the strongest teams in the play-offs. We will do our best to give a respectable account of ourselves. They have some Dutch international players who played in Brazil, but there is nothing to be scared of. Chornomorets Odesa beat PSV last season and we will have our chances."

©AFP/Getty Images

Real Sociedad de Fútbol (ESP) v FC Krasnodar (RUS)
Jagoba Arrasate, La Real coach: "We don't know a lot about them, other than the fact they got through the previous rounds quite easily. They came fifth in a very competitive league in Russia. We know they're a bit ahead of us in terms of preparation as they've already started their league. It will be a five or six-hour trip but that’s no excuse. We're starting off at home, like we did against Aberdeen."
Oleg Kononov, Krasnodar coach: "This is a 'self-esteem season' for this club. It's important for us to bolster confidence in matches against sides who are equal to or stronger than us – that is the only way to get better. Real Sociedad represent a big league. They are on the rise, they played in the Champions League last season. However, in my opinion, we are equal to them."