Francesco Guidolin took the blame for Udinese’s Europa League exit to Slovan Liberec, because “we tried to win” the first leg.
The 3-1 loss on home turf proved disastrous, as the 1-1 in the Czech Republic knocked them out of the Europa League at the play-offs stage.
“We threw all we had on to the pitch. It’s not here that we lost qualification, but in the first leg,” confessed Coach Guidolin.
“We tried our best here, but physically they were in better shape. The elimination is my fault. In the first leg I should’ve approached the game the way they did and been content with a draw.
“Unfortunately, I wanted to win the match and we just hit the woodwork three times and wasted scoring opportunities. It probably would’ve been wise for us to defend the 1-1, once we had equalised, and come to Liberec with a draw.
“Tonight we did not deserve more than the 1-1 result, but losing the first leg we played into their hands. Slovan Liberec clammed up and suffocated us here.
“In terms of effort I have no complaints. I would’ve preferred to play this game against a Slovan side who were forced to score. In that case, we could’ve fought for qualification.
“What I want first of all, regardless of qualification, is the attitude of a provincial club and the knife between the teeth. Now we have to dive back into achieving Serie A safety, which remains our main objective.”
Udinese still have a very slim hope of entering the Europa League group phase.
On Friday UEFA will pick one of the losing play-off teams to replace Fenerbahce, who were thrown out of the competition due to match-fixing.