Nuno Espirito Santo believes Valencia were the better team during their 3-2 loss to Zenit in the Champions League on Wednesday.
A brace from Hulk had Zenit in control at the Mestalla before an Axel Witsel own goal and Andre Gomes’ strike helped the La Liga side back into the game.
But Witsel struck the winner at the right end in the 76th minute to see Zenit secure three points in the Group H clash.
Despite the loss, Nuno insisted his team deserved more from an encounter they had their chances in.
“There was one team that wanted to go for the game, and that was us. From the first minute to the last,” he said.
“We always prepare players for all aspects of the opposition. We knew the danger posed by Hulk; we made a mistake allowing him to shoot, but I value what we tried to do more.
“We were the better team, dominating the match, and we controlled things. We will work on individual aspects because what we want is to grow and improve.”
Witsel’s goal, which came with a strike from the edge of the box and went in off the post, leaves Valencia with work to do in the group.
Nuno backed his team to bounce back, beginning with a clash against Real Betis in the league on Saturday.
“It’s a short competition but there are six games; we knew the importance of the three points and we did many things to try to get them,” he said.
“The most important thing is that we have to pick ourselves back up very quickly and draw conclusions rapidly.
“You can’t lick your wounds for too long, and on Saturday we have another important game. We have to thank the fans who have pushed us on in difficult times.”
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