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Page last updated at 06:36 GMT, Wednesday, 15 July 2009 07:36 UK

Roberts hails battling Rhyl show

Champions League

Stand-in manager Osian Roberts hailed Rhyl's performance despite their 4-0 Uefa Champions League defeat by Partizan Belgrade at Belle Vue.

Roberts, in charge for the night due to Mike Bickerstaff's long-standing family commitment, said unforced errors cost the hosts dear.

He said: "That was probably a good performance for Rhyl and it's probably one of the best they've had all year.

"But against a team of this standard, unforced errors will be punished."

The Serbian visitors were 3-0 up by half-time and Roberts, the Welsh Football Trust technical director, says Rhyl's players were well aware of their shortcomings in the second qualifying round, first leg.


Roberts added: "Well, [you're] naturally disappointed every time you lose a game.

"But if you take it in its context against the quality side that Partizan are, with all due respect, we couldn't have asked any more out of the individuals and as a team.

"But we're just bitterly disappointed that unforced errors have resulted in four goals and they've punished us and rightly so.

"I think in the first 15 minutes we settled down. We started passing it. We started asking questions. We looked comfortable and then [Partizan scored] two goals in two minutes.

"But they came from unforced errors and that's why the guys are really disappointed. But against teams of this standard and of this nature you're going to get punished.

"I think in the first half we made three or four unforced errors and it resulted in three goals.

"The finishes were terrific, of the highest order, but we knew that coming into the game we had to be at our best.

"I think defensively we were organised. I think we knew exactly what we were doing. They found it frustrating at times.

"They looked to probe, but found it difficult to break us down a times and it was just individual errors at times and the guys know that."

Roberts says despite the 4-0 defeat Rhyl are relishing the prospect of the second leg in Belgrade on Tuesday, 21 July.

He added: "It's going to be a great experience for the club, great experience for the players. They will look forward to it.

"It's an opportunity to build the character that's within the group.

"It's an opportunity to go there and make sure we keep our pride intact, as they've done tonight, especially in the second half.

"We came on strong at the end… and we'll build on that and use it as an opportunity to make sure that this group gets tighter and tighter and they're in the right frame of mind going into the new season."

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see also
Rhyl 0-4 Partizan Belgrade
14 Jul 09 |  Europe
Rhyl set for Partizan Euro clash
22 Jun 09 |  Welsh
Owen achieves Welsh Premier award
07 May 09 |  Welsh
Rhyl handed Welsh Premier title
18 Apr 09 |  Welsh
Man Utd seal deal for Serbian duo
02 Jan 09 |  Man Utd

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