Middlesbrough boss Steve McClaren was relieved his side escaped with a 1-0 loss after the first leg of their Uefa Cup semi-final at Steaua Bucharest.
McClaren hopes his side will play better in the second leg
Steaua had chances to add to Nicolae Dica's goal but were mainly denied by stubborn Boro keeper Mark Schwarzer.
"We're delighted. The first half was very good, but in the second half we made mistakes," said McClaren.
"It could have been worse, 2-0 or 3-0, and it would have been impossible to come back."
Boro were missing influential captain Gareth Southgate for the game as well as striker Mark Viduka.
Both are hopeful to be back for the second leg on 27 April when McClaren expects a much-improved performance from his side.
He added: "Next week it will be a completely different game. We know we can play better."
Steaua coach Cosmin Olaroiu was disappointed his team did not press home their advantage with more goals.
"I have a bitter taste after this victory," said Olaroiu.