Rovers seize on Krysiak error
Wed, 06 Mar 2013 22:15:00
Neil Lennon believes Juventus' class shone through as they ended Celtic's UEFA Champions League hopes on Wednesday but says his players 'did the club proud'.
The Bhoys put in another battling display in Turin but could not avoid a 2-0 defeat which sealed Juve's 5-0 aggregate victory to see them through to the quarter-finals, with Alessandro Matri and Fabio Quagliarella finding the back of the net.
Lennon lamented his side's lack of finishing on the night, with the visitors creating plenty of chances they failed to convert, but voiced his pride after an extraordinary European run.
"I'm very proud tonight to be a manager here in this fantastic arena. They've done the club very proud," he told Sky Sports.
"On the night was it a fair result? Class tells in the end and I think that's what happened with the two games. I think quality counts, at the end of the day.
"The last 16 is cut-throat and Juventus were clinical over two games.
"I thought at times our finishing let us down. Our build-up play was very good, (it was) just our execution."
Lennon's relatively young squad impressed throughout the campaign and the manager believes they should take the experience forward.
"I hope they've learned a lot. I hope that they move on with their careers," he said. "I hope these young guys blossom from this experience."
Lennon admits it could be difficult to keep his squad together in the summer after seeing his stars attract attention on the European stage.
"It's going to be a big ask. It's hard to stop the progression," he added. "There will be players who want to progress their careers maybe elsewhere.
"We'll see what the summer brings."
After 23 minutes midfielder Oliver Norburn hit a low shot straight at Krysiak from 25 yards, but the keeper somehow allowed the ball to pass between his legs and trickle over the line.
Krysiak was then left clutching at thin air by Brown's stunning left-footed drive from the corner of the box eight minutes from time, which saw the ball rocket into the roof of the net.
Promotion-chasing Exeter had plenty of possession, but were unable to create any clear-cut chances.
Krysiak did well to tip a first-half header from Tom Parkes around a post and Rovers emerged worthy winners.
The result took Rovers nine points clear of the drop zone, having been bottom of the table when John Ward was appointed manager in December.
For Exeter it was a rare blemish to their excellent away record.