Schaaf thrilled with win
By Thomas Zeh
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Werder Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf heaped praise on his whole team.Werder Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf heaped praise on his whole team following their 2-0 away win over Valencia which helped the Bundesliga side into the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League, but singled out super sub Nelson Valdez for extra compliments.
The Paraguay youngster was once again only third choice to Miroslav Klose and Euro 2004 star Angelos Charisteas in Bremen's striking department, but he still managed to score twice after being brought on for Charisteas for the remaining ten minutes.
"I am very, very happy for the whole team, but especially for Nelson. Other players might have been more in the spotlight of public attention lately, but he's such a good guy, he really deserves it," beamed the usually rather phlegmatic Werder coach.
"It's sensational what the team achieved in the Champions League, I have to congratulate every single player," added Schaaf, whose club had never before qualified for the round of the last 16 teams in Europe's elite competition.
Inspired by skipper Frank Baumann and Valerien Ismael in central defence, Bremen allowed the Spanish and Uefa Cup champions few chances and finally converted two late strikes to seal an impressive win at the Mestella.
"We didn't combine too well in midfield and often lost possession far too quick, but the key was that we stood firm in defence," analysed Schaaf.
And while the Werder coach played down the ugly scenes towards the end of the match when his players clashed with their Spanish opponents and angry Valencia fans, who covered the pitch with a hail of bottles, Baumann put the blame on the frustrated Valencia players.
"Some of Valencia's players completely lost their temper, in the end it had nothing to do with football, but we stayed calm and finally scored the second goal," explained the German international defender of the scenes which followed the dismissal of Miguel Angulo.