Marko Nikolic: I am both proud and a little sad

The two managers shared their thoughts shortly after the final whistle. 

Marko Nikolic:

"There are two different feelings mixing inside of me. The first is that I am proud of the team, but naturally also sad that we did not manage to make it into the Champions League group stage. It is true that hardly anyone expected us to get this far. We saw today that the team is made up of real fighters. The players really have given their all. We have to go home proud and with our heads held high. I hope that they are proud of us back home in Hungary. I congratulate the lads, but also to AEK for going through. The game was played in a great atmosphere in Athens. I would not claim that we were the better team over the two games, but I feel that we were not worse. We had at least 10 big chances over the two games, but could only score two goals. We were missing a little bit of luck, but the AEK keeper also made some very good saves. We played with organisation, which perhaps the Greek media and the supporters did not count on us causing big problems right until the very end against the local champions. We battled from the first to the final minute here and in Budapest. We never gave up for a moment in the battle. I can see that they are sad that we have gone out, but I called them together after the final whistle in the centre circle. I would like to give special thanks to that group that followed us everywhere during the summer. Naturally things are not finished and we have the big league game with Ferencvaros. Our European series will also continue and we will watch the draw for the Europa League on Friday."

Marinos Ouzounidis:

"I was scared that if we would score a goal that we would become nervous. The fate was extremely big and many things depended on this game. We were nervous in our play, but I feel that we were better than our opponents. Everyone deserves congratulations as there were many problems that could not be seen from the outside. We fixed these within house and it bonded the team together. We did not play well today, but the main thing is that we have gone through. I am proud of our players and we can all be proud of the name AEK. We are in the group stage."

Author: David Rechnitzer

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