Unai Emery has issued his verdict on his Villarreal side missing out on Europa League football.
We now know the Yellow Submarine will not be playing in the Europa League next season following their costly collapse against Real Sociedad over the weekend.
A home defeat to La Real leaves Villarreal in seventh place, and even that is not guaranteed yet.
Villarreal must achieve a result against Barcelona at Camp Nou that betters that of Athletic Club’s away to Sevilla to guarantee Conference League football.
If they fail to manage that, they will miss out on European football altogether next season.
The absence of Europa League feels like a bitter blow for Villarreal, who won the competition last season and reached the final four of the Champions League this season.
But Emery knows his team just haven’t done enough domestically to earn a return next season.
“The coming week we have a very important game for the Conference League,” he said after the defeat to La Real.
“The Europa League escaped us, but it also escapes us because of a first half where we managed many less points than we should have got. We feel frustrated.”
Speaking about the possibility of qualifying for the still relatively new Conference League, Emery added: “If we get there, we will give it value.
“The Europa League is now a coveted competition.
“In the Conference, (this season) we have had semi-finalists of European importance.”