The visitors scored three times in the first half, with all three goals originating on the left flank, and speaking afterwards, the Easter Road boss admitted that while there had been an obvious gulf in class between the two teams, there were elements of his side’s performance that had left him frustrated – he could look to change things up.
“If you look at the goals, and types of goals we’ve conceded this season, there have been too many. You’ve got to do more if you’re in that position – stopping crosses is a fundamental of defending. If it keeps happening, the next man comes in and get the opportunity to stake a claim for the position,” he said.
“There were moments we didn’t control well enough. We should’ve done better for the first couple of goals,” he added. “The disappointing thing is we didn’t show up in possession. There were two or three moments when I thought we should’ve been getting in with a well-executed pass or a run over the top. It wasn’t like they were absolutely peppering the goal, although they were dominating, but we were masters of our own downfall. The gulf in quality showed after that period in the first 20 minutes. Too many times we gave the ball away, too many times we were offside. That was the lesson for us and we hope we can learn from this. There's huge differences between the budgets and we're doing well to compete at this level and today is a big lesson for us.”
Johnson is hopeful that the return leg can be an education for his side.
"I hope we can use it as a learning game because it will take a miracle to win the tie,” he continued. “You never give up but at the same time it will be interesting to see if we can play with a little bit more football arrogance, and a bit more belief now the pressure is off. I want to see how the boys cope because it's another test in our journey.”