Ilia Gruev: You play football because of these games

Ilia Gruev: You play football because of these games

Midfielder chats with LUTV.

Ilia Gruev’s stunning early free kick got Leeds United off to the dream start in the second leg of the Whites’ Play-Off semi-final against Norwich City.

Following the Bulgarian’s inventive strike after just seven minutes, further goals from Joel Piroe, Georginio Rutter and Crysencio Summerville saw United progress to the final, where they will meet Southampton at Wembley.

Ahead of the clash with Saints in the capital, the midfielder spoke with LUTV.

“It was a very emotional game last week and we are very happy that we did it” said the 24-year-old. “Now we know we have a great game and a final at Wembley.

“My first thought was that I would cross, but then I saw the goalkeeper and I thought let’s try it, why not! It was amazing. It was a great goal in the moment and it was a big moment for me. Unfortunately I don’t score so much, but it was an important one so it was good.

“I think we played a very good game. We were very dynamic and very mature. It was a great performance from us and it gave us a lot of confidence for the upcoming game.

“It is going to be a full stadium and a lot of people are going to watch the game in a lot of countries. You play football because of these kinds of games.

“Of course, we were a little bit down after the last game [of the season], when we knew we hadn’t been promoted directly because we wanted to go for it.

“But now we have another chance and it was very important to win the semi-final. Now it would be even better to go up at Wembley, at such a big event. The atmosphere and the emotions in this game are going to be amazing.

“You feel in the city a lot of people are really looking forward to this game. You felt this after the Norwich game and it is great because a lot of people are talking about it.

“The whole season our supporters have been great, but it was a special atmosphere against Norwich, it was incredible. I think at Wembley, we are going to make it like a home game for us, which gives us a lot of motivation and energy.”