Lokomotiv Moskva coach Yuri Semin was delighted with his side after their 2-0 win over Club Brugge in Moscow enabled the Russian side to progress to the second group stage of the Champions League.
Despite taking only one point from their first four games, Lokomotiv finished in second place in Group H on seven points, although they needed Barcelona to beat Galatasaray 3-1 in Spain to progress.
Semin said: “I want to thank all our supporters – not only those who came to the ground but also the people who watched uson television – because finally we have brought them some joy.
“I am pleased that all our hard work was not in vain. I am verygrateful to my players, who showed excellent commitment despite a very difficult playing surface.”
Semin revealed he had taken special action to deal with Brugge’s aerial threat.ÿ
“I told my players to keep the ball on the floor as muchas possible. Brugge’s players are very strong in the air, but my players followed my plan perfectly. This was one of our best matches.
“I told my players at half-time that Barcelona were winning 1-0. I knew they would win, because after we player them two weeks ago, (Barcelona coach) Louis Van Gaal told me they would never lose to Galatasaray.”