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Page last updated at 21:12 GMT, Thursday, 30 July 2009 22:12 UK

Well boss admires victors Steaua

Motherwell manager Jim Gannon
Well boss Gannon applauds the visiting fans in Bucharest

Motherwell boss Jim Gannon could only praise Europa League opponents Steaua Bucharest after the Romanians eased to victory over the team from Lanarkshire.

Gannon's inexperienced side lost 3-0 to the hosts in the third qualifying round first leg encounter.

"I wouldn't say we were given a lesson but I'm a great admirer of continental football," Gannon told BBC Scotland.

"The movement of their players, the technical play and first-time football was outstanding at times."

Though disappointed with the loss, Gannon believes Steaua's performance can benefit his players.

"It was a real lesson for our players about different levels of quality between the British game and the continental game," the former Stockport manager added.

"We are what we are and until we start bringing in managers that educate players to be able to play off their shape, I think we'll always see the grit and the passion.

"I'd just like to see more mobility, fluidity and quality football and it's up to managers like myself and others in the game who want to be progressive and learn lessons from continental football and try to apply it in our own game.

"We had opportunities. It's another game under our belts, a real test for our players, which they've come through physically and which will help in our preparations for the forthcoming SPL season.

"But overall it's a measure of how much we need to improve as a side if we're going to be competitive in the SPL."

Goalkeeper John Ruddy, who has joined on-loan from Everton, had a busy night for the visitors and saved a first-half penalty in between Steaua's first and second goals.

"I've worked with John before and I think he was outstanding tonight," said Gannon.

"We knew that John would give us a different dimension and improve the quality.

"There's only so much work you can do on the training ground with players to improve them and sometimes you need to bring in players who have much more than the current players.

"I think we've got some fantastic kids at the club, who didn't look out of place on that pitch, such as Paul Slane and Shaun Hutchinson."

Motherwell recovered from solitary-goal first-leg defeats in the previous two rounds to reach this stage but asked if he thought a 3-0 deficit would be insurmountable in the second leg, Gannon replied: "I would think so.

"Ultimately, we'll be concentrating on the game and looking to improve the way that we play the game.

"It'll be another opportunity for us to improve our fitness and our speed of play going into the SPL season.

"So, we will get something out of the game even if it's only just preparation for the forthcoming season."

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see also
Steaua Bucharest 3-0 Motherwell
30 Jul 09 |  Europe
Europa League photos
30 Jul 09 |  Europe

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