Hecking lauds Gladbach’s EL turnaround

Borussia Monchengladbach came back from Europa League elimination against Fiorentina, but Dieter Hecking never doubted his troops.

Gladbach lost the first leg in Germany 1-0, and goals in the second leg from Nikola Kalinic and Borja Valero meant that the Viola were cruising in Thursday's second leg at Stadio Artemio Franchi.

But Die Fohlen had a lifeline with a penalty just before halftime that Lars Stindl tucked away for the first goal of a remarkable hattrick on the night, and one that changed the game, according to Fiorentina boss Paulo Sousa.

"The penalty opened up the tie, as we had gone 2-0 up, gained confidence, had more chances and continued to press," Sousa told Sky Sport Italia.

"When you have the game in hand, even a wrong transition can lead to a penalty and that gave Borussia hope when they were losing it."

However, Hecking insists that his side would not have given up, and praised his team's mentality after Stindl struck twice more soon after the break, before defender Andreas Christensen gave them the aggregate lead on the hour mark.

"It was a great game, but even in the first leg I realised we could achieve something important here in Florence," Hecking said.

"We deserved to go through and never stopped believing. I saw my team had the right spirit, because we took the game to Fiorentina right from the opening minute. The most important thing was to believe."