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McCall ´frustrated´ by Europa League defeat

Motherwell manager Stuart McCall was left frustrated by his side’s 2-0 UEFA Europa League defeat to Kuban Krasnodar on Thursday.

Two goals from Ivelin Popov in the second half ensured that the Scottish Premiership side have it all to do in the second leg in Russia.

That left the former Scotland international McCall bemoaning his side’s failure to learn their lessons, with the tie going the same way as last season’s European defeats against Panathinaikos and Levante.

“We got to 74, 75 minutes and the plan was to go 4-4-2 and launch some balls in,” he told the club’s official website.

“But the second goal – I saw it coming, as soon as it came out and we played the wrong pass. It was deja vu – exactly the same as last season.

“We talked about it all week and by the looks of that we didn’t learn. That’s the most disappointing aspect.”

McCall was under no illusions as to the better side, but he believes his men can bounce back and still qualify for the play-off stage.

“Listen, they were a better side, they were a yard sharper, they created better chances but we were still in the game,” he added.

“We came in at half-time maybe fortunate to be 0-0 but they have not been beaten since November and are difficult to break down.

“The second goal was just so frustrating – even at 1-0 it was an uphill task – but we are still in it. We can still go and defend well and nick a goal on the break or from a set-piece but the second goal is the most frustrating aspect.”

Motherwell will make the return trip to Russia on Thursday as they look to make the play-offs for the third time in their history.

Fri 2 August, 2013
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