Heynckes hails mature Leverkusen
Bayer Leverkusen coach Jupp Heynckes praised his side's maturity after they beat Rosenborg in freezing conditions last night to not only secure their place in the knockout stages of the UEFA Europa League but also clinch top spot in their group.
The 1-0 win means Leverkusen can afford to lose to Atletico Madrid in a fortnight and still progress to the next round as Group B winners and Heynckes is optimistic about the future. "It was really important for my players to show the right attitude to the game and I think we were exemplary," he said.
"I think it was a great win given our superiority and our cleverness and you have got to say that we wanted not only to win, but also to win the group. My team has matured. They are cleverer, cooler in certain situations and I am certainly optimistic about our future in
Nevertheless, Heynckes knows that his side must at least repeat their performance from last night, no matter who they draw in the next round of the competition. "We have seen from the results today that in every game, even against the teams who are supposedly weaker, you have got to remain fully concentrated," he said. "My team did that today and that is why we were successful. We were superior and we deserved to win."
Leverkusen will be joined in the knockout stages by fellow Bundesliga side Stuttgart, who also won their group last night, although Borussia Dortmund have a mountain to climb trying to make it a trio of German sides in the last 32.