Hiddink: Anzhi takes Europa League very seriously

The former Russia coach was pleased to celebrate his 66th birthday with a win on Thursday, as his side went top of its group thanks to a narrow victory over English opposition
Anzhi Makhachkala boss Guus Hiddink has spoken of his pleasure at recording a 1-0 Europa League win over Liverpool on Thursday and claimed his side is treating the competition with respect.

The Dutchman signed an 18-month deal with the big-spending Russians in February and is enjoying his time in Russia following an unsuccessful spell in charge of the Turkey national team which ended in failure to qualify for Euro 2012.

"In the end I am very happy with the 1-0 victory over Liverpool. We're top of a very tough group," Hiddink wrote in his column for De Telegraaf.

"We take the Europa League very seriously and it's a nice experience for Anzhi.  In the Russian league, things are going okay as well. Right now we're second and that's above expectations.".

The 66-year-old recently missed an Anzhi match due to a buildup of fluids in his knee but has shrugged off suggestions in the wake of the incident that he should retire or take a step back from football.

"When I was younger, I didn't expect I would still be coaching at this age," he stated. "But I've still got the energy. Right now we're playing games every three or four days, but I don't have to wipe the sweat off my forehead because I am able to do everything."

Anzhi's next match is a Russian Premier League fixture away to Lokomotiv Moscow on November 11.

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