Despite watching his Rayo Vallecano side crash out of the Cup to lower-League opposition, Coach Paco Jemez only had praise for his players.
Rayo drew 0-0 at Vallecas on Tuesday night to be eliminated 1-0 on aggregate from the Copa del Rey Round of 32 by Segunda Division side Las Palmas .
“It is not good news to have been eliminated from this competition, but thinking about the League is our consolation that remains,” reflected the Coach after the tie.
“We’re not happy about not progressing, but we have done everything that we could, but the red card in the second half proved decisive.
“My players left their soul in the field, although we lacked the fluidity of previous games. I believe that Las Palmas are deserved winners because they knew how to score that goal in the first leg and manage to defend it in the return game.”
Jemez saw his goalkeeper Ruben Martinez dismissed midway through the first half. Coincidentally in the first leg, Rayo played 83 minutes with 10 men too, after shot-stopper Daniel Gimenez was shown a red card.
“The red card was a handicap today, because it conditioned the game. Playing with one less is an important condition.
“Today I am prouder than ever of my players. We have played some that have not had many minutes so far and it is normal that when they are together they have to work a bit harder, but I will not reproach them, because they have worked and they gave it everything, as I asked of them.
“Now, more than ever I am with them, although I am screwed. We should have done more, but we are responsible and especially me, I am ultimately responsible for what happens on the pitch.
“I am particularly sad because it is hard to take, as we wanted to give the fans more.”