Stuart McCall proud of efforts but disappointed with goals conceded
Motherwell manager Stuart McCall expressed pride in his players after a 2-0 Champions League home defeat by Panathinaikos that he felt was scant reward for their efforts.
McCall’s side were undone by an early set-piece and a late counter-attack as their debut in the competition left them needing a momentous comeback in Athens next week to reach the play-offs.
McCall said: “I think we more than matched them. I don’t think the scoreline reflected the performance. I just wanted the lads to put in a performance their families and the fans would be proud of and they did that.
“I’m disappointed with the goals,” McCall said. “We talked about not giving silly free-kicks away with the boy’s ability from set-pieces. It was a great area to put the ball into and the goalkeeper has to take a step across in case [Jean-Alain] Boumsong gets it.
“We started well and Las [Keith Lasley] had a great chance. The second half we had a real go and created opportunities and with just a little bit of luck... But it wasn’t to be. We always knew their threat on the counter-attack but they played it well. From their point of view it was a good goal.”
McCall, who picked a 4-4-2 formation with attacking wide men Jamie Murphy and Chris Humphrey in midfield, added: “We have players who want to score goals. We didn’t want to go out with a whimper. We were pressing and probing and most people thought the goal was coming. It would have been nice if we could have got it to 1-1 but it wasn’t to be.”
Panathinaikos head coach Jesualdo Ferreira said: “We experienced pressure from Motherwell but whenever we had the opportunity to break quickly we created problems.
“Motherwell work hard and play football that is difficult to control but I thought we deserved the win.”
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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