Brede Hangeland was just one of many outstanding performers against Shakhtar Donetsk last night and the Fulham centre back was in no doubt of the magnitude of the team’s achievement.
It feels fantastic. It’s a really, really great achievement for this club and I’m proud to be a part of it. It proves how far we’ve come as a team since Roy Hodgson became Manager.
We’ve beaten one of the top teams in Europe and we’ve achieved that by trusting in the way we play and working hard. It’s been a fantastic team effort so we’re really proud of ourselves.
We knew we had a good chance from set pieces because when you’re a team of tricky Brazilians, you can’t be big giants at the same time!
When I looked at my marker I thought, “If the ball comes in at the right angle I have a good chance.” We’d said to Duffer to be sure to put all the crosses into the box instead of playing them short and he did that, so as it came in all I had to do was flick it into the corner.
It turned out to be a very important goal, but I’m not too bothered about who scores the goals as long as we get the result we need. If we’re honest, it was against the run of play. It felt like we were defending for 90 minutes today, but having said that, we did that well and restricted them to long shots, which Mark did really well to save.
Normally you have a glance at the stadium clock every now and then, but there wasn’t a chance for that, it was really hectic. I remember speaking to Hughesy with about five minutes to go and agreeing that if we managed to get through it, it would be a really big achievement.
But we all knew what was ahead of us if we managed to hold on, and we kept focused to do that. So when they finally blew the final whistle it was a good feeling.
It’s certainly great to be a part of nights like this. Who would have thought this would be possible with this club a while back?But it just proves that with hard work and a group of players and coaching staff pulling in the same direction, you can achieve things like this. Now we look forward to playing Juventus at the Cottage, as I’m sure the fans do too.