Tuesday October 11 2016
Escriba: CL loss made us stronger

Villarreal boss Fran Escriba has stated the disappointment of missing out on the Champions League group stage made his side stronger.

The Yellow Submarine crashed out in the qualifiers to Monaco with the first leg defeat at Estadio El Madrigal coming only six days after Escriba’s appointment, having replaced the sacked Marcelino.

"We didn't start the way we would have liked. The team and the club expected to reach the Champions League group stages but I didn't feel any added pressure," the 51-year-old told Marca.

"The group was affected because they would have deserved to have played in the Champions League, considering the good season they had had.

"We had difficult days but it united the group in terms of finding balance. We cannot be driven by defeats and that balance is what is helping us function.

"Besides that [Champions League playoff] setback, everything is going well and I'm happy."

Villarreal finished fourth in LaLiga last season but Escriba insists that he has not been sent any targets this year despite an unbeaten start to the league season.

"I haven't been set targets," the former Elche and Getafe boss continued.

"What is demanded here is to work and to do well. To push players but nothing more than that.

"I have a one-year contract and I want to do a good job. But I don't consider this job as a launch pad for something bigger for my career or that if I fail, I will not go to bigger clubs.

"I'm in the team I want to be in and I'm delighted. I have been well received by the players and I feel very comfortable."

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