Did you make that hard for yourselves or are you pleased?
I am pleased because we are through and last year at that stage we went out by them. If I have to evaluate the performance, what we’ve done today with the ball in particular is nowhere near the standards that we set ourselves.
We made it really difficult because you don’t have any stability when you give the amount of balls away that we have given in the game. When that happens you don’t have the control that you need to manage the tie the way we should have done. And that’s related as well to the number of chances that we missed again.
Were they a bit tired after Sunday or a bit nervous after last time?
They are excuses. We have to manage to play every three days, we have to manage to play in the tie, we have to manage to play when we are in front or behind. It’s football. I don’t want any of those excuses. I say it again it’s nowhere near the level with the ball what we have done today.
That said you’re through to the quarter finals
Yes. We are really happy with that. It’s another step forward as a team. Hopefully we can learn some lessons as well today and be ready because it will be even tougher. It’s true that we have beaten two good teams Benfica and Olympiacos but the next one will be even tougher I think.
You’ll have to better in the next round or you’ll be out won’t you?
Yes, because what we have to do, the way we are set up, the organisation that we have and the way we want to play we have to be much more efficient, much more simple, much more cohesive as a team to glide ourselves as a team because without that structure as a team you are exposed when you lose the ball in really dangerous areas without any opposition.
When you do that and we did that a little bit when we created chance after chance. But, as you mentioned, if you want to be in the competition when you have four, five, six big chances in Europe you have to put them away and then the tie is over.
A couple of those chances fell to Pierre. Is there any hint that what happened at the weekend is still in his mind?
I hope it hasn’t. We moved on from that. He started the game today. We expect him when he does play that he performs at the level he can do.
BukayoSaka wasn’t involved tonight. Do you expect him to go and link up with England?
We don’t know it depends how he feels in the next few days. We spoke yesterday he wasn’t near ready to be involved for today. We made the decision. We will make the decision for Sunday against West Ham and then we will talk with the doctors and the national team to decide what we do.
How difficult is it with so many games to get the consistency you want?
Yes but, it is the level that we need, it’s the level that we require at this football club but it’s what have to try to do. Again if we would have won the game maybe we would be happier. But the reality is that we lost it. We lost it for many reasons and we have to learn the lesson.
Are you open to anyone in the quarter finals?
There’s still one or two games going on still so I don’t know. They are all really good teams and the competition is complicated. Let’s see.
What does it say that when things weren’t going to plan tonight your team was still able to do enough to get the result to see that they went through?
I doubt zero about the personality that we have, the willingness, the work rate. We were giving balls away everybody was sprinting back, everybody was going for every single challenge, we were physically really tired towards the end because of the game that we played as well. About the commitment and the effort as well it’s zero doubts. And that’s a given that the boys give you every single time.
It’s about the level of quality that we have to produce to be where we want to be to be in the Premier League with the teams that you have to compete and in Europe with the teams that you have to face in the next few games. So it’s just about that . For the rest I am extremely proud and happy for the group that we have, determination that we have, the spirit that we have, but we need to go another step forward.
To go that extra step forward what do you need?
It’s a bit of everything. First of all you need stability. Stability gives you a bit of reassurance, it’s gives you confidence, it gives you time, it gives you the picture that we have to prepare for the game. And after that the decision making and everything is better.
When everything is rushing and somebody is chasing and you lose the ball and another ball that’s not the game you planned. So you have to reset yourself and go back to the basics and the things that we have to do right to be on top of the game.
Does it matter how you won tonight. Spurs have just lost and they had a big lead so although you lost it doesn’t matter how you got through does it?
Well, it does matter because it’s not the result, it’s about the performance and the direction that we want to take and as well the confidence and the level of consistency that we have to show after a great performance to do it again. For me it does matter but obviously I’m really happy because we are through in the end.
Any comment on Spurs going out?
It shows as well the level of the opposition. People takes for granted that you play against any opponent and you’re going to be through because the name of the club that it represents. It’s not like that. Every team in Europe is really difficult to beat.
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Auba and Pepe had some chances tonight but for you to find the consistency that finishing has to be more lethal doesn’t it?
Well, when you are here and you create the chances that we created tonight you have to put the game to bed. We know that that’s going to be crucial in the next round to have the possible chance to go through.