Xabi Alonso: "We're happy; I think Leverkusen can still improve a lot"
After taking over as head coach for Bayer Leverkusen, Xabi Alonso wasted no time making an impression. His team won its first game under his watch by a 4-0.
's 4-0 win over Schalke on Saturday was a "complete performance," which was his first game as head coach.
Alonso, a former midfielder for
, Liverpool, and Bayern Munich, took over as manager of the Bundesliga club on Wednesday. He replaced Gerardo Seoane, whose team had lost 2-0 to Porto the day before.
With goals fromMoussa Diaby
, Paulinho, and
, Leverkusen got just their second win of the Bundesliga season. This helped Alonso get off to a great start.
At a news conference after the game, Alonso said, "
We're happy. After two days with the team, we didn't have much time, but the players understood what we want and how we want to play. It was a complete performance today, both offensively and defensively. I think we can still improve a lot. We talked about some concepts and the players understood them. It's a good start for the road ahead."
"I saw good quality in the team, and I have to help to bring them onto the pitch. We were very focused today, we always have to be. Good concentration and a good mentality are the key. As a player you play on the pitch, as a coach you play on the sidelines. You have to be part of the game and try to influence the game."
However, Alonso must quickly shift his team's focus to the Champions League because Leverkusen is in danger of being eliminated early from Group B after losing two of their first three games.
On Wednesday, the Bundesliga team will hostPorto
, which is in second place, and Alonso is well aware of how important the game is.
"The game against Porto is very important for us,"
. "We still have every chance of progressing, but we need the three points to avoid being under too much pressure in the last two games."
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