Monday, May 07, 2007

Zico: "My Players Had An Answer" (To Critics)

After Fenerbahce's defining 1-0 victory over Besiktas, Zico spoke to the media about his team answering their critics and what this victory means for the club.
"It was an important victory that we had at the right time. Besiktas had the advantage to play in its own stadium in front of their fans. However, my players had an answer to those people who claimed that Fenerbahce is over."
Regarding the stress that his players face and the meaning of this win, Zico went on to say "Everyone is a little stressed before these kind of games. My players were stressed out, too. I told them to remember which team they are. This match was, of course, important for us but nothing is over yet. I congratulate and thank my players for their effort and for this great victory."
Umit Ozat of Fenerbahce cautioned "Last year we experienced a tragedy and if we don't want to be confronted with a similar tragedy we must be more careful." Zico added: "Everybody said that we were finished beforehand but we managed to win after a very trying week. After our goal we held Beşiktaş at bay. I congratulate all my players."

Besiktas Manager Jean Tigana, who had disclosed to France Football magazine in the week that he would not be in charge of Beşiktaş next season, was clearly disappointed at the loss. "It will be very difficult to sleep tonight," he said. "Our [title] chances have lessened. We have so many young players and I don't have many experienced league campaigners in the side. Fenerbahçe have taken control of the league now but we have to recover before Wednesday [the Turkish Cup final] and lift the cup."

There was also disappointment for third-placed Galatasaray, whose 1-1 home draw with Antalyaspor has all but ruled them out of the title race. Substitute Rigobert Song's 70th-minute goal cancelled out Ahmet Dursun's early strike but the champions are now eight points adrift of Fenerbahçe with three games to go.


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