After eventually overcoming Rubin Kazan in the Europa League, Twente coach Michel Preud'homme has stressed the importance of Theo Janssen's strike on the stroke of half-time, just as the Russians threatened to overturn a 2-0 deficit from the first leg in Moscow.
The second leg finished 2-2 in the Netherlands, meaning Twente progressed 4-2 on aggregate to set up a clash with Russian champions Zenit St. Petersburg in the next round.
"All's well that ends well. I am happy we achieved good results. Initially we had a hard time but then we levelled the game. Rubin's two goals acted as a cold shower, but the goal before the break was very important for us," Preud'homme commented in the post-match press conference.
"Zenit are a very strong team, somewhat stronger than Rubin as they are the Russian champions. When I was in charge of Standard [Liege] I met Zenit and they are a very strong outfit."
Theo Janssen spoke about the prospect of another freezing trip to the east of Europe and the possibility of lining up against former team-mate Danko Lazovic on the more natural turf of the Petrovsky stadium in St. Petersburg.
"The prospect of meeting with former team-mates, especially in cold Russia, is obviously not that exciting. I would say playing on the natural turf in St. Petersburg is now not a positive thing. I am sure there is no grass and in this case it would be better to play on the synthetic in comparison with bare earth," the Twente midfielder explained.
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