Motherwell manager Stuart McCall was proud of his young team after they came close to causing a shock against Levante before falling to a 1-0 Europa League defeat.
Motherwell featured four teenagers in their starting line-up - defenders Adam Cummins and Fraser Kerr, and midfielders Stuart Carswell and Steven Hetherington - with a fifth, Zaine Francis-Angol, coming off the bench. But they gave as a good as they got in the first half against a Levante side that beat Real Madrid last season and topped La Liga in late October.
McCall said: "I was very pleased with the performance. I'm disappointed we didn't get anything out of the game but very pleased with the effort. Someone gave me a stat that the average age at the end was 20. They did the club proud."
The game could have been different too had Michael Higdon's third-minute header not been disallowed for offside after he ran round the back of the home defence to convert Hetherington's free-kick.
Levante stepped up a gear after the break and Greece striker Theofanis Gekas converted a cross in the 72nd minute to complete a 3-0 aggregate win, but even then Motherwell should have snatched a draw in injury-time when substitute Chris Humphrey blazed over from close range.
McCall's mood had been somewhat different on Monday amid an injury crisis that robbed him of Simon Ramsden, Steven Saunders, Nicky Law, Tom Hateley and Shaun Hutchinson, who was sent off in the first leg, with Higdon also a pre-match doubt.
But the Well boss said: "After we saw the pitch last night, and it wasn't huge, and the weather wasn't as hot as it was, we had a breeze, everyone started to really look forward to it. I think that showed in the performance, the energy levels. We had a couple of efforts and it would have been nice to see one go in.
"I'll have to see Michael's goal again, I don't think he was offside. We should have scored late on and that would have been nice for the fans. But I thought the fans were outstanding and the players were terrific, and they both lifted each other at times."
McCall will arrive back in Scotland on transfer deadline day but he is not expecting any action after a move to bring Ipswich midfielder Ryan Stevenson on loan was leaked. The former Hearts player is understood to have received a better offer from another Scottish club.
"I've not got any positive vibes at all today," McCall said. "I've been concentrating on the game but I genuinely doubt it."
- Michael Higdon