Hughton looks for positives

Blues boss hoping squad benefit from European adventure

Chris Hughton: Hoping Birmingham City can benefit from their European experience

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Chris Hughton is focusing on the positives from Birmingham City's Europa League campaign after they bowed out on Thursday.

The Championship club secured a 1-0 win over Maribor, but it was not enough as Braga failed to beat Club Bruges - a result that would have seen Blues finish second.

Birmingham ended Group H with 10 points from their six games and Hughton believes they were unlucky not to reach the round of 32.

However, he is not dwelling on what might have been and believes his squad will benefit from their European experience.

Unlucky

"It is disappointing not to go through because it doesn't happen too often that teams don't qualify when they get to 10 points," said Hughton.

"We have possibly been unlucky but, at this moment, I just want to think of the positives we've had from taking part - and there are a lot of those.

"The closeness at the end just shows the quality of the group and the two teams that have gone through have vast European experience.

"To be up there pushing on the last day was all we could ask and testament to the group of players I've got.

"We did all we could do by winning against Maribor and it has been a great learning curve and experience for everyone."

Grounded

Youngster Nathan Redmond was the star of the show and Hughton is hoping he can stay grounded following his impressive display.

"Nathan has been seen on national TV now and I don't know if that is a good or a bad thing!" he explained.

"He is a young lad still developing. There will be ups and downs for him.

"He will come up against sturdy full-backs and not always get his own way.

"But the Europa League will have benefited him with his development."