FC Schalke 04 forward Lewis Holtby told UEFA.com that returning coach Huub Stevens is "a man with a vision" after he guided the German side to a 3-1 victory against Maccabi Haifa FC.
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Lewis Holtby told UEFA.com that FC Schalke 04 are already enjoying life under Huub Stevens after welcoming the coach back to the club with a 3-1 home win against Maccabi Haifa FC. Haifa goalkeeper Bojan Šaranov said Schalke had punished his team's mistakes in Gelsenkirchen, but was quick to highlight the positives from a performance that bodes well for the Israeli side's prospects in Group J.
Lewis Holtby, Schalke forward
It was a good display, and we were comfortable especially after the early goal. At some points in the game we gave the ball away too much and they scored. We played well in the first half, and were effective in the second. We're top of the group, so that's great. It's been a hectic last couple of weeks, but the team has handled it well. It's a shame [Ralf Rangnick] had to stop coaching us, but it's better for him as a person.
Huub Stevens has made a good impression on us, he's a man with a vision. Everyone's following what he wants, and we're enjoying it. Everyone will think that [AEK] Larnaca [FC] are the group minnows, but every game is difficult – it's still the Europa League. We saw that against [HJK] Helsinki; everyone thought we'd beat them comfortably but it went the other way. We have to be focused and show our strengths in every game.
Christian Fuchs, Schalke defender
It was absolutely great for me. It's the first time in my career that I've scored twice in a game, and my free-kick was the one that won us the game. They were also my first goals in the Europa League. However, it was more important that we took all three points and had a good start. We're top of the group now and we naturally want to stay there as long as possible. We want to rise to every challenge. We were stronger against Maccabi than we were in our first game, and deservedly won. We have to continue like that.
Bojan Šaranov, Maccabi goalkeeper
It was a very difficult game for us, but we played really well. Schalke had a lot of luck. We have to be better in certain situations and our concentration has to be better over 90 minutes. We have to improve in our next game, and the result has to be better, too. There were a lot of positives for us but every mistake we made Schalke scored, and this is different to our domestic league. We're still confident, but we have to win our home games.
Seidu Yahaya, Maccabi midfielder
Schalke are a very good side, we did our best and deserved to take something from the game but that's football. Sometimes it happens that you play well and get nothing for it, while sometimes you don't play well and you get points. We started well and tried to move the ball around. Both sides had chances, but they took theirs while we squandered ours. We can't cry about it as the group is still open. We have to get our heads up, concentrate on the next game, and take some points. We're going to have to work extra hard if we want to progress.