Houston upbeat despite Euro exit

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Dundee United manager Peter Houston has challenged his players to use their latest exciting but ultimately unsuccessful Europa League experience to fire them back into the competition.

United suffered defeat at the first hurdle of the competition for the second successive season, although two rounds earlier this year following their away goals defeat by Slask Wroclaw. United twice let slip an aggregate lead as Sebastian Dudek's long-range strike sent them out after Thursday night's second leg ended 3-3.

"We've learned again in Europe, unfortunately they are glorious failures," Houston said. "We have been put out on away goals. Last season it was the width of a post that kept us from going through against a quality side in Athens. It is great experience and it gives us great hope for the season ahead. We want to do very bit as well in the league to get us back into Europe again."

He added: "We have tasted it two years running and we want to take them back in there three years running."

Although Houston was disappointed to concede from a corner when Rok Elsner headed home from close range in the 15th minute, he knew their ultimate downfall was their failure to score in Poland.

"We spoke about that in the dressing room," said Houston, whose team host Kilmarnock in their Clydesdale Bank Premier League opener on Sunday.

"The players are absolutely gutted, the fact that we had two glorious chances and the away goals killed us.

"It's always a cushion when you get that away goal and we would have been through.

"Over the two games I thought Dundee United played very, very well but we are just disappointed to be out the cup."

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