Villarreal boss Fran Escriba is still confident of securing Champions League football despite seeing his new side lose 2-1 at home to Monaco in the first leg of their play-off tie at El Madrigal.
Despite a goal from Alexandre Pato, the side who finished fourth in LaLiga last season go into next Tuesday’s second leg behind against their Ligue 1 opponents thanks to a Fabinho penalty and Bernardo Silva’s winner.
It was far from an ideal start for Escriba, who only replaced Marcelino as head coach a week ago, but he remains optimistic that Villarreal can launch a successful comeback in the tie.
“Yes, we can turn this around,” he told the club’s official website. “It is not an impossible result to come back from.
“If we minimise our errors we will have our chances, but these two weeks are going to be very hard because we have a lot of injuries.
“We made more mistakes than them, some of which were significant. We had chances to score and I think the fairest result would have been a draw, but we lost and now we have to think about making the comeback when we go to Monaco.
“I said to my players that this tie is a way to brilliantly finish the work they did last season. The players and the fans deserve to be in the Champions League.
“The only thing I will say to the fans is that we won’t back down and we will try as hard as we can to qualify until the end.”