"It's a good time for us," Jeremain Lens told UEFA.com after FC Dynamo Kyiv's 2-0 win against Rio Ave FC, with Serhiy Rebrov keen to raise the bar higher for his ambitious players.
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• Jeremain Lens proud to contribute to Dynamo's 2-0 win against Rio Ave
• Serhiy Rebrov eager to top Group J with matchday six result at Steaua
• Coach Pedro Martins proud of Rio Ave's efforts
• Ukra inspired to aim for Europe again next season
• Next games: Steaua v Dynamo Kyiv, Rio Ave v AaB (11 December)
Jeremain Lens, Dynamo forward
We had a lot of good chances and deserved to win, although the first 15 minutes were tough. We didn't score until after the break and I'm glad I was able to break the deadlock. I don't think it was my best performance for Dynamo. I always try to do my best; sometimes my performance is good and sometimes it's not – but I always fight for a result.
We have very good attackers at Dynamo – [Artem] Kravets, [Dieumerci] Mbokani, [Andriy] Yarmolenko, [Oleh] Gusev, myself and others – so it's not so important who scores, only the results matter. We are first in our Europa League [group] and top of the Ukrainian table so it's a good time for us, but we'll see where we end up. We want to go as far as we can in Europe. A semi-final or a final would be great but we know that's a very difficult task.
Olexandr Shovkovskiy, Dynamo goalkeeper
We had so many chances in the first half; it would have been over by half-time if we had scored half of them. We were very confident and kept looking for opportunities, so I think our win was well deserved. I didn't think about my record [582 competitive appearances for Dynamo] – the important thing was to win and qualify for the knockout stages.
We got behind [Artem] Kravets at half-time. He missed a lot of chances but worked very hard and gave everything on the pitch. He is a team player, and though he is a bit upset he knows the three points are what matters. The final game against Steaua is important because we want to win this group, and because we defend our club's honour every time we play in Europe.
Serhiy Rebrov, Dynamo coach
It's a very important win, and I'm happy our players showed their character and gained a victory despite some mental and physical weariness. Dynamo were the better team and the result is fair. We have good competition in the team for starting places and I'm glad we have players like Miguel Veloso and Dieumerci Mbokani who work very professionally and are always ready to help us.
Our first objective was to qualify but our next mission is to finish top of the group. It's very important and all the players know that, so we are going to put out our best team at Steaua. This is only the beginning of our journey. We aren't thinking as far ahead as the final. We have to play well in every game – in Europe and domestically – and then we'll see what we get.
Pedro Martins, Rio Ave coach
The result is disappointing but my team gave their all tonight and I'm proud of our players. Dynamo were too strong for us. They are one of those teams that could win the Europa League this season. We had good spells in the game but missed our chances. It's very important to analyse that in order to avoid such things in the future. Anyway, it is all fantastic experience which will help us to develop.
Ukra, Rio Ave forward
Our motivation was to play for our pride and play good football against a top-quality team. We started well but we couldn't score. That has happened a lot this season. It was very hard tonight as we were up against the strongest side in this group and one of the favourites to win this competition.
Our Europa League results have been disappointing, but it's a really fantastic experience as it is the first time we have played in Europe. We have enjoyed it so much that we are eager to return and be more successful for our club and our city.
It's a funny situation [about the nickname Ukra – given because friends in Portugal joked that with his blond hair, he looked Ukrainian]. I've never thought I would ever come to play in Ukraine and that so many people would talk about my nickname here. Even in Portugal a lot of people thought I was a Ukrainian at first, and now I come here and get so much attention. I've loved that.