Kenny Shiels admitted his Derry City side simply couldn’t match Dinamo Minsk’s quality as they face a real uphill struggle in Belarus next week.
The Belarusians strolled to a 2-0 victory thanks to Croatian defender, Nino Galovic’s second minute strike and a killer 64th minute goal from Uladzimir Khvashchynsk on Thursday night.
In truth, Derry rarely threatened on the night and if it wasn’t for two fantastic saves from goalkeeper Gerard Doherty it could’ve been a lot worse for Shiels’ troops.
The Brandywell boss had no complaints about the scoreline and conceded the better team won on the night.
“We’ll learn from the experience,” said Shiels.
“We learned a bit about ourselves tonight.
“We’re still naive in terms of managing the game but we just didn’t have the quality to lay a glove on them.
“Obviously they were a better team and we can’t deny that as we didn’t hurt them in any shape or form.”
Shiels was full of praise for the effort from his players and despite facing a daunting task in Belarus, he promised his side will ‘step it up’ for the return leg.
“It epitomised our misfortune losing Rory Hale in the first minute and losing a goal in the first minute. It just put us on the backfoot straight away.
“We tried to stay inside the game for as long as we could.
“We were more hopeful tthan we were creative.
“I thought they worked very hard against a better opponent.The boys did the best they could.
“It was a game of effort and endeavour and we simply couldn’t match their quality.
We have a lot of work to do to get us prepared.
“We’re travelling from Tuesday onwards for a game on Thursday night whichis not ideal.
“And while It’s not nice to lose and the fact that I’m disappointed, you can’t blame the players for their effort and work they put in.”
He concluded: “We have to step it up for the away leg which will be really tough.
“But we can’t be negative if we can win the first half, you never know what can happen.”