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De Bruyne: Wolfsburg waiting game paid off

"It wasn't our job to press our opponents," VfL Wolfsburg's Kevin De Bruyne told UEFA.com after the decisive 3-0 win at LOSC Lille. "We let them make the mistakes, not us."

Wolfsburg celebrate their third goal
Wolfsburg celebrate their third goal ©AFP/Getty Images

Wolfsburg beat LOSC to Group H second place with 3-0 win that included a penalty save
Kevin De Bruyne tells UEFA.com: "We let them make the mistakes"
Bas Dost points to vital Wolfsburg goal just before half-time
LOSC players and coach René Girard happy to focus on Ligue 1
Round of 32 draw takes place in Nyon at 13.00CET on 15 December

Kevin De Bruyne, Wolfsburg midfielder
I don't think we have the kind of team that can play for a draw. We always try to win, even if the first half was a little difficult. Lille had to come at us – it was all or nothing for them, and the first goal helped us. I think even with ten men we controlled the game – we played it smartly, and we deserved to win.

You have to wait for your chances. We knew Lille would attack us, and would leave us space. It wasn't our job to press our opponents. We let them make the mistakes, and not us.

Only in our first group game against Everton did we have a few problems. I think we played well in the other five, but we have a young team. I think this was the toughest group in the Europa League, and we came through it. We have to see who we will play in the next round, but I think it will be comparable to the quality of opponent we faced today.

It's like cup games from now on, so anything can happen, but we have done well in the first part of the competition

Bas Dost, Wolfsburg striker
It was a really good evening for us. Once our goalkeeper made a super save to stop the penalty, it was over.

I think Lille played really well, but as usual our team scored a goal when you least expected it. It couldn't have been better than to go 1-0 up just before the break. After the first half, we played well. We went down to ten men, but I think we handled it well and didn't panic.

We now have to see what the draw is like, but I think we have a good chance. We're doing well in the league – we're in second. We had a difficult group, we survived it, and we want to move on. We were confident, because we are doing well domestically, we're winning a lot of games. But this game was very important, because if we had lost it, it would not have been good for the team. We had the feeling we should win this game. We have good players in every position, and we showed that today.

Dieter Hecking, Wolfsburg coach
I am very satisfied that we managed to make it out of this difficult group and into the last 32. In the first half, Lille played better than we did, but we managed to score the opener from a quality move. We improved during the second half, despite [Josuha] Guilavogui's sending-off ... My team proved their talent and we managed to score two more goals, which proves we have plenty of quality. This match was important for the rest of the season, both in the Bundesliga and Europa League.

©AFP/Getty Images

Vincent Enyeama, LOSC goalkeeper
We're not too disappointed. Nobody wants to lose a game, but we saw the end coming. I'm sad that we lost the game, but we don't have the squad to play in too many competitions. Everyone is injured and tired, there were just too many games for us.

The goals will come. That's football, these things happen. We can't blame individuals. It's not about scoring goals, it's about how the team is playing. The team is one, and we have to stick together.

The important thing now is to focus on is the league. If we get back up the table, we will qualify for the Champions League – that's possible. We could get back into the Europa League.

This has been a good experience for us, particularly for the young players. We're not going to start saying that this was lacking or that we should have done this or that. It's history now. It was just a good experience and now we have to move forward.

Florent Balmont, LOSC midfielder
There's not a lot we can reproach ourselves for on that performance, particularly in the first half. You could even say that we looked good at times. We just have that persistent problem of taking our chances. We created opportunities to open the scoring, but in the end, our opponents scored the first time they got into our box.

We have not won since September. It's becoming worrying. We have to quickly win again, and we also have to work on improving our finishing.

René Girard, LOSC coach
Losing 3-0 is a bit harsh: I don't think it reflects the match. The second half was particularly hard, because of the goal we conceded just before the break. Conceding during added time is becoming a bit of a habit, like against Lens at the 92th minute [a 1-1 league draw].

I think we created a good number of chances in the first half, but the goals just won't come these days, so it's difficult to aim for a better result. Each time the team goes on the pitch, we try and make the wheel turn, but we just can't score a goal right now, not even from a penalty.

I understand the fans' whistles, I can feel their frustration and it's normal. But we'll need their support if we are to bounce back. The players are not desperate. I can't accuse them of not sweating it out on the field or not working hard together. I think it's the worst run of my [coaching] career.

It's natural that the  Europa League took its toll in term of energy, which explains in part our results in the league. But for us, it's only normal to play this competition to the best of our ability. And against teams like Everton, Wolfsburg – and to a lesser extent Kasnodar – you can't afford to not give 100%. But let's be realistic: these teams have a stronger squad than we do, without disrespecting our own club and players. Maybe we need to recruit forwards during the winter window – I have discussed that with my president.