Mazzarri: “We played as a team”

SAINT-ÉTIENNEWalter Mazzarri shared his views after tonight’s Europa League match in France: “I’m proud of the performance – we played some great football in the first half. We should’ve and could’ve been out of sight.

“After the break, we let in the goal and suffered a bit, but we played as a team and earned a valuable point to put us on the brink of qualification. It’s a shame they got the equaliser. Had we been a fraction more alert we could be taking home all three points. Having said that, the lads did very well and I’m delighted with the reaction I saw out there today,” declared Mazzarri.

There was a special mention for Federico Bonazzoli, who made his Europa League debut this evening: “It’s clear that he’s got a big future ahead of him, provided he continues to put the effort in and go about his business in a professional manner. He played excellently and that was a big part of our first-half performance. He helped the team today and deserves a big pat on the back. Palazzi had a good debut too, I’m happy for him.”

It may have been just a few minutes after the final whistle, but Mazzarri was already focused on the weekend’s clash at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza: “Will we need the fans against Verona on Sunday? We want to play well and we hope that the supporters get behind us, because this group deserves that.”