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Petrov slams Villa's Europa exit

Captain Stiliyan Petrov branded Aston Villa's failure to qualify for the Europa League as "unacceptable" after Rapid Vienna again defeated them in the final qualifier.

The 3-2 defeat at Villa Park saw the home side exit 4-3 on aggregate. They had twice led through Gabriel Agbonlahor and Emile Heskey but also saw a Petrov penalty saved as the Austrians struck back with three second-half goals from Atdhe Nuhiu, Mario Sonnleitner and Rene Gartler.

The Bulgarian player admitted after the game that the uncertainty surrounding who will be Martin O'Neill's successor as manager has been unsettling and needs to be resolved.

Kevin MacDonald remains as caretaker boss and will be at the helm for Sunday's home clash with visiting Everton, but his aspirations of taking the job on a full-time basis have been hurt by last night's loss and the 6-0 defeat at Newcastle United.

Petrov said: "With the uncertainty of the manager (situation), it is difficult.

"It is not a game we should have lost. We had enough chances to win the game but didn't put them in. It really is unacceptable from us. We worked so hard last season to get into Europe and we have blown it.

"We need to get better all over the park. We need to put things right. We are not doing something right."

MacDonald admits recent results will not have helped his cause if he decides to put his name forward to succeed O'Neill. The Scot is the leading candidate, but another setback against Everton may force a rethink.

He said: "It was very disappointing. You can't legislate for individual mistakes. The group score as a group and they will accept the responsibilities for the mistakes as a group as well."