Twente chief upbeat despite exit

Twente coach Michel Preud'homme praised his side for their efforts in the UEFA Champions League this season despite seeing their hopes of reaching the last 16 ended with defeat to Inter Milan last night.

Esteban Cambiasso's strike early in the second half was enough for the holders to progress from Group A alongside Tottenham Hotspur, who were 3-0 winners against Werder Bremen.

Twente matched Inter for long spells of the encounter at the San Siro but failed to find the goal their performance merited as the hosts just shaded it.

The Dutch outfit nevertheless have done enough in the group to qualify for the knockout phase of the UEFA Europa League after Christmas, an achievement Preud'homme insists was the minimum target at the outset.

Today we can learn from the efforts of Inter, and at this level we know we can hold our own.
Michel Preud'homme, Twente coach.

"Third place is in the bag and that was the aim of this European adventure," said the former Belgium international. "When the draw was made we were the fourth team in a very difficult group. Everyone said that winter in Europe would be a very good performance. We have achieved that and we can be satisfied.

"It is nevertheless unfortunate [to go out of the Champions League]. We have shown performance levels close to the level of Inter and Tottenham. Today we can learn from the efforts of Inter, and at this level we know we can hold our own."

Twente's Champions League campaign will officially come to a close on 7 December with their final group outing against Spurs, a match Preud'homme is determined to take seriously following his side's 4-1 drubbing at White Hart Lane in September.

"It is always a honour to play against a team like Spurs in the Champions League," he said. Moreover, we do not forget what happened in London and that gives the players something to play for. It is therefore imperative that we approach that game very seriously."