Despite his team producing one of the shocks of the night, SK Brann midfielder Erik Huseklepp confessed to being dissatisfied with the 2-0 home-leg win over RC Deportivo La Coruña in the UEFA Cup first round.
Article top media content
Ólafur Örn Bjarnason converted from the spot with 25 minutes gone and Jan Gunnar Solli doubled the Norwegian titleholders' lead 14 minutes later to boost their chances of securing a UEFA Cup group-stage berth in Galicia on 2 October. "This was a great match, but I have to say that I'm a little disappointed we didn't win by a clearer margin," said Huseklepp, who proved a constant danger with his mazy dribbles and speed with the ball at his feet. "I had two great chances, but the ball wouldn't go in. A two-goal cushion is good to take to Spain, but we aren't through yet."
Brann have struggled to repeat last season's championship form this year and lie eighth in the Tippeligaen, a fact that has led to criticism of coach Mons Ivar Mjelde. This was a far better performance from the Bergen outfit, though, and Mjelde hopes it will spark a renaissance. "Before the game, I wouldn't have dreamed of being disappointed with a 2-0 win, but we had enough chances to win by four or five goals," he said. "This was a totally different Brann to the last few months. I hope this form continues."
Deportivo trainer Miguel Ángel Lotina could only lament stumbling across a team back at the top of their game, meanwhile. "They can't have played like that for the whole of this season," he said. "Otherwise, they'd be higher in the league. My players didn't show the right attitude to this game. We gave away far too much space and Brann could easily have scored more goals." The Spaniard still harbours hopes of progress, however: "It will be hard. All we can do is try our best."