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Mtivlishvili wants Georgia to heed harsh lessons

Despite a disappointing display against Serbia, defender Davit Mtivlishvili feels Georgian football will enjoy the long-term benefits of a "wonderful tournament".

Mtivlishvili wants Georgia to heed harsh lessons
Mtivlishvili wants Georgia to heed harsh lessons ©UEFA.com

Davit Mtivlishvili admitted Georgia had "got what we deserved" against Serbia after suffering a defeat that has their UEFA European Under-19 Championship hopes hanging by a thread.

Tuesday's 1-0 loss in Marijampole – inflicted by Dejan Meleg's 74th-minute goal – leaves Giorgi Tsetsadze's team on one point, five behind their conquerors and three adrift of a France side with whom they shared a goalless draw on matchday one. To have any chance of prolonging their debut finals campaign into the knockout stages, Georgia must beat eliminated Turkey on Friday and pray that France fall to Serbia. Yet for that to happen, Mtivlishvili recognises much more is required.

"To be honest, it was a poor performance and we got what we deserved," the defender told UEFA.com. "Our attack was non-existent today. The Serbian players are very physically strong and it was a difficult game. Now myself and all my team-mates are very sad, but we still have one more game to play and we need to improve."

Despite being unable to win either of their Group B matches to date, Mtivlishvili and company have enjoyed their experience in Lithuania. The full-back feels that the competition can provide long-term benefits. "It's a wonderful tournament and it is very important, not only for our team and the federation, but also for our country and our people, because in Georgia people are crazy for football," he said. "Of course we wanted to play better, but unfortunately we have not managed that. We've made too many mistakes."

Eradicating those errors is all part of the development process for young footballers, and Mtivlishvili believes the lessons learned will assist him as he bids to make his first-team breakthrough at FC Torpedo Kutaisi. "After playing at this tournament I have an even bigger motivation to work and train harder," he said. "I am looking forward to returning to Georgia to do my best in trying to develop into a good player at my club." First, however, there is at least one more U19 opportunity for the 18-year-old and his squad.