Gaćinović: "We're the better team"

The UEFA Europa League is familiar territory for Mijat Gaćinović, who reached the semi-final of the competition with Eintracht Frankfurt in 2019. Now the Serbian midfielder is hoping to help TSG Hoffenheim to some success on the international stage. Prior to the meeting with Red Star Belgrade (Thursday/21:00 CET), the 25-year-old spoke to about his enthusiasm for the Europa League, seeing some familiar faces and his goals for the season.

Mijat, you made your first start for TSG against Dortmund on Saturday and almost scored right at the beginning. How did it feel to play from the start?

"I was obviously happy to be included in the starting XI for the first time, but I would've happily exchanged that for a victory. I believe there was much more in that game for us and we would've deserved a point. I should've scored a goal; that frustrates me. But I'm now looking forward to making more starts – and hopefully getting some wins."

The next match is on Thursday when the Europa League starts. How much are you looking forward to the European games?

"The Europa League is my favourite competition. I'm really looking forward to it. I had some superb experiences in the tournament with Eintracht Frankfurt in the past. Our clear objective at TSG is to get through the group. In my opinion, we have the best team in our group."

The visiting team Red Star Belgrade are from your homeland, Serbia. Are you looking forward to the clash?

"I know a lot of the Red Star players from my time with FK Vojvodina Novi Sad and the Serbian national team. So I'm looking forward to seeing all the lads again and travelling to Belgrade in December."

You know Red Star from facing them in the Serbian league. What do TSG have in store?

"We need to be at it right from the off. Red Star can be very unpleasant and have several players in the squad that can hurt us. But we're the stronger team. What we will need to do is to show the same desire. If we do that, I'm confident that we'll end up on the winning side."

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