We can hold our heads high. The players should and so should we as supporters.
From where we were last season, to beating the 3rd best team currently in La Liga tonight, having narrowly missed out on qualification but securing our place in Europe beyond the new year in the Conference League. We are ahead of where anyone expected us to be, not even half a season into the new manager’s reign.
And by the way, the Conference League is not to be sniffed at. There are many good teams in there now. But we can definitely include ourselves as one of them.
Yes we conceded too many goals in this campaign. The most actually. But we also scored a huge amount, with only Lyon, Napoli and our group rivals Leverkusen scoring more. Not bad for a team going through a major transition!
I said last night it would be good to finish on more points than them. They should feel embarrassed to brag about going through on less points that us from a much easier group but that isn’t an emotion they typically feel!
No, we didn’t get through as we hoped to. But our players now know we can compete at this level and mix it with the best. And tonight proved we have deeper squad quality than a lot of us thought, which is a huge positive.
We go out having had a better campaign than them. Deep down they know that. And so do our players.