Villarreal manager Javi Calleja underlined his satisfaction after the draw with Sporting Clube de Portugal (1-1), which sealed qualification for the UEFA Europa League Round of 16: "We've done it. Getting through to the last 16 was fair, as we were better. It was a good match and we had a lot of control from the start to the end. In the second half, we were convinced we could get through to the next round. We were patient so we could build dangerous moves and it paid off."
The coach hailed his footballers' performances, and showed his optimism ahead of the upcoming matches. "The team is in a strong place and is getting better every day. The results give us confidence and trust in our work. As a manager, I'm very proud, I see that the team has improved and I see their hard work daily. We just needed the results that come with that."
The 'groguet' boss also praised the Yellows support, who backed the team until the final whistle: "The best thing about today is that we're on the same wave length as the fans. They were moments when we needed them and they gave everything. We all have to go through it together. Their emotions and their feelings strengthened us. It's an example of what we hope the supporters are like until the end of the season."
To conclude, Calleja analysed the upcoming Yellow Submarine match against Atlético Madrid, which will take place at the Wanda Metropolitano (Sunday, 4:15pm): "We go to whatever ground and we know that we're going to compete and make it hard for our opponent. The team is great physically and is recuperating well between matches. If the results are positive, there isn't as much fatigue. I see a team that can play with a number of different players or ways. On Sunday, we're going to show a good level. We're competing very well and we are going to carry on doing that on whatever ground."