Kilmarnock manager Angelo Alessio apologised for his side’s embarrassing Europa League exit to Welsh underdogs Connah’s Quay Nomads and vowed to learn from it.
The Rugby Park outfit’s first European campaign in 18-years ended in humiliation as they were sent crashing out of the Europa League qualifiers following a 2-0 defeat as both sides were reduced to 10 men.
Connah’s Quay Nomads lost 2-1 at home in the first leg but they turned this tie around in sensation fashion following a second-half goal from Ryan Wignall and a Callum Morris penalty to set up a second qualifying round tie against Partizan Belgrade.
Kilmarnock’s Stuart Findlay was shown a straight red card for conceding the penalty and Connah’s Quay goalscorer Wignall was sent off with five minutes remaining after receiving his second bookings.
New Killie boss Alessio – who took the reins from Steve Clarke this summer – held his hands up for the defeat but vowed his charges will learn from it.
Alessio said: “I’m sorry. I’m sorry for this result, this is a bad result for us. We won 2-1 in Connah’s Quay last week but today we lost 2-0 but it’s important for us to learn from this game and to continue to work hard every day.
“This team and these players they have shown the right attitude, the right mentality in the past. This is a bad result but we have to learn from this match.
“In the first half we have three opportunities to score a goal and their goalkeeper made great saves, this can happen.
“At the same time in the second half it’s important – don’t lose your head and stay in the game.
“We conceded two goals, the second a penalty, but this is football.
“I don’t feel like I have lost the good feeling from the fans. It is important to remember that this is only the first game.
“Yes, it is a bad result and I am sorry for this because I am the manager but it is important to stay together. Everyone – the fans, the club and you guys in the media.”
Connah’s Quay Nomads manager Andy Morrison hailed the result as one of the best in Welsh football history.
Morrison said: “This is one of the greatest results in Welsh Premier League history and Europe.
“It is all relative. Liverpool beat Barcelona 4-0 and people said that was remarkable but that (Thursday night’s match) was on a par with it as the gulf between the two teams is huge.
“For us to come here and win 2-0 is amazing. We were written off and were 66/1 to win 2-0 and nobody gave us a hope in hell.
“It is a special night in Welsh football.”