Ole and Matic speak to the press
The boss and Nemanja Matic have answered questions from journalists in Germany & here's what they said...
Ole, you must be delighted that all your attacking play eventually brought its reward. You had so many shots and so many chances tonight... "Yeah, of course. I don't know how many shots we had in total, it must be close to 30 and probably half of those on target. Their keeper had probably the game of his life, he was really good. Then again, I could say we need to be more clinical in knockout games. But I'm delighted that we're through, it's another semi-final for this team and the next challenge is to go one step further and hopefully win the last one as well." Anthony Martial seemed to produce a real centre-forward's performance, although he didn't score, and we've spoken about the improvements that he's made this season before. What did you think of his performance and did it include the things you like to see from him in terms of hold-up play and strength in that position? "Yes, he was sharp. Anthony has developed throughout the season and today he had a good hand in, or was involved in, the penalty. He's impossible to stop at times when he gets the ball into his feet and he drives at people. With his balance, he can go either way. The only thing now is to put that ball in the net again but I'm delighted with his performance, yes." Juan Mata's not played much lately. What does he bring to your team and what do you think he brought tonight? "I think you saw when he came on, he's so composed and calm. He's clever, he's got quick feet in small, tight areas. He can pick a pass. He can calm us down at times and he's such a great influence in and around the place as well with the culture and the dressing room so I can just commend him for his professionalism. Of course he's disappointed he's not played more but he's one of the top assist-makers in the Europa League and he's really done well for us." It's a question for both of you, Ole and Nemanja. I just wonder about the physical condition of the players. Obviously it's been a very long season, almost a year now, and you've played 60 games. Do you feel they've got the energy to get through possibly two more games? Nemanja: "Yes, I think we are in good condition. Of course the season is long but we knew it before, what we can expect and the most important [thing] now is to be mentally ready. Physically I feel we are fine. We are in the same position like every other team so it's most important that we are mentally ready. I think that mental point will decide the semi-final and final of course." Ole: "Yes, definitely. We've worked hard throughout the season. We've come quite a distance from where we were fitness-wise but as Nemanja says, mentally, that's where it's decided. And when you get tired, the opposition is probably more tired and you've just got to be mentally strong. Difficult conditions, even for me with my shirt on, I started sweating and my T-shirt is wet so I'm glad I didn't have to run out there as much as they did." Ole, congratulations on the win. For the next few days, you're going to be stuck in a bubble now and you're going to be training around Cologne. What's the plan, how are you going to approach it and will you be able to go to the match in Duisburg tomorrow? "No, we'll have to watch that on telly and of course, the facilities are not the same as we're used to. But that's no excuse. I think every team has got the same conditions. Of course we're used to having the best facilities around in the world for recovery and preparation. We just have to make the most out of a difficult situation in conditions that are really hot and humid. What time do we train? Especially tonight when we have played late so it will be a strange one tomorrow morning for some of them because they probably won't sleep for a few hours. But we've got six days and there are not many times that we;ve got six days to prepare for a game." Ole, what did you think of Rasmus Falk? "It was a fantastic performance. He caused us problems, both when he played on the left and on the right. Technically he's very, very adept. He's quick, he turns players for fun. We saw that against Istanbul as well when he flicked the ball round the defender inside the six-yard box. He created their biggest chance by that fantastic piece of skill and when he pulled it back to Jonas Wind but it ended up with a great block by Aaron." Borussia Dortmund came out today and said that Jadon Sancho is going to be their player next season. They announced they have extended his contract. How confident are you that you can still get a deal done for him this summer? "I can't comment on other teams' players. You know that, I never do." Nemanja and Victor were rested tonight and came on during the game. Is it a case of having to manage players' time because it has been such an exhausting season? "Yes, of course, we have a squad and we decided to start with the team we did today. And I felt at the time that we put Nemanja and Victor on, Eric obviously had a yellow card and the game was there for us to attack and I didn't want him to end up in a difficult situation, wanting to do a tackle, and Fred played really well but Nemanja's always had this calming influence on the team. He came on and did really well."