Having led France to the World Cup quarter-finals this summer, Hugo is no stranger to pulling on the captain’s armband.
Our Europa League play-off victory was the first time Hugo had led us out in a competitive fixture and he was delighted with the faith shown in him, not only by Mauricio, but the rest of the squad as well.
“It’s a mark of confidence from the manager and from my team-mates but maybe it was just the story of the night,” he said. “There are some important senior players in the team and we have to be an example and show our team-mates the right way.
“There are some players with experience like Adebayor, Younes, Jan, Daws and I who are here to provide an example for the rest of the team and make sure the spirit is a good one.”
Adrian Sardinero gave the hosts the lead in the 14th minute but Roberto Soldado and Harry Kane struck in quick succession to ensure we hold the upper hand going into next week’s return.
“We knew beforehand to expect a difficult game and that was the case on a difficult pitch,” he added.
“To play against an opponent who played very deep meant we didn’t find any space in the first half and then we conceded the goal. We needed the character and the good attitude to come back and win the game. We did the job which was the important thing today.”
Although Erik Lamela came off the bench to set up both goals, Hugo stressed the importance that all the substitutes had in turning the game around.
“It’s not only Erik, all the players who came on made a difference today, they were important and they helped the team get the result so we have to congratulate them. We showed the good spirit that there is in the team.”