"Happy and proud" were the words used by Thomas Tuchel to describe BVB's performance in the 1-1 away draw to PAOK Saloniki despite making eight changes to the starting line-up. Borussia's coach also spoke about the group and the behaviour of the fans.
Thomas Tuchel on the performance of the rejigged team:
"I am very satisfied with the performance I saw today. It was a great team performance, but also a top performance on an individual level too. We were outstanding in the first half an hour of the match and then conceded a goal out of nothing. We haven't had too much luck in this respect in recent times. The first shot taken by our opponents often ends up going in. But we showed that we were not affected by falling behind, never lost our concentration and our balance, and created a whole host of chances to score. And we could have perhaps clinched a deserved victory at the end. But above all, I am happy with the performance. It has been such good fun to coach this team and watch them put in a performance like this."
...on the question of whether BVB might have done better if they had not left players at home:
"Perhaps, but perhaps not. We knew that it was going to be an intense game and that we would need all our strength to get through tonight. We also knew how many matches the five players who stayed behind in Dortmund have played in the last few weeks. Moreover, I have seen how much this group has been looking forward to this game and has had a real desire to show what they can do and to prove themselves. That makes me happy and proud."
...on his thoughts after PAOK's surprising opener:
"I know that it's possible to lose any match - even those in which you dominate as much as we did today. But I also had great belief. Because in our last few games we have always responded well to falling behind. And we knew that ultimately our tempo would have an impact tonight."
...on Jonas Hofmann's participation in the equalising goal:
"His run was super, his timing was super. It was good that he recognised the situation. He definitely deserves half the credit for this goal."
...on what the group is like:
"It's a very balanced group. It might not have quite so many big names in it, but in terms of quality there is not much of a difference between them. We have known since the first match against Krasnodar that we need to push ourselves to our limits. But that's not a problem. We want to be successful in this competition and really want to get some points on the board in our next two games against Gabala."
...on the behaviour of the fans:
"We know about the enthusiastic atmosphere that exists at PAOK matches. But today it was the Dortmund lot who began setting off pyrotechnics. That's a shame and annoying. On a sporting level it really doesn't help; it distracts you when you see burning flares in your fan block and so many police. I'm happy that the team did not lose their concentration. If the PAOK fans felt they were provoked here tonight, then we are sorry for that. That was never the intention of the sporting leadership or the club."
...on why the team still decided to go over to the fans:
"I heard that they had a discussion among themselves about whether and to what extent they would go over to the fans. I went into the changing room, so I don't know how long the lads were there. It's important to remember that it's a small minority causing chaos. The other 1,300 fans deserved the team to go over and thank them for their support. However, I can completely understand the question of whether they might have decided to take a stance."
By Boris Rupert