Dundalk trio explain the key points that led to their Europa League loss to AZ Alkmaar

Daryl Horgan, John Mountney and Andy Boyle speak to Newstalk Sports' Oisin Langan

AZ Alkmaar, Daryl Horgan, Dundalk

Az Alkmaar’s Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Daryl Horgan of Dundalk ©INPHO/James Crombie

Daryl Horgan says a "bad goal" conceded and a lack of a clinical edge proved the difference as Dundalk suffered a Europa League group stage defeat to AZ Alkmaar at Tallaght Stadium.

The Dundalk winger and his team-mates went down to a 1-0 loss which doesn't eliminate them from knockout round consideration just yet but means their qualification hopes are out of their hands with one matchday to go.

While AZ leapfrog Stephen Kenny's side in the group, Dundalk still have a chance of going through with victory at Maccabi Tel Aviv in two weeks - but will need Zenit not to lose to the Dutch side.

But speaking to Newstalk Sports' Oisin Langan after the game, Horgan told him of his disappointment at not getting a crucial result tonight first and foremost.

"It was a bad goal to concede and we just weren't as clinical as we usually are in the final third," he said.

"There were definitely a couple of balls I should have done better with and that's the difference at this level."

He also added: "Probably if we had just been that small bit more clinical tonight, we could have got something today."

Dundalk’s John Mountney with Ridgeciano Haps of AZ Alkmaar ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Andy Boyle, who like Horgan was called up to the Ireland squad for the recent World Cup qualifier against Austria in Vienna, felt there was an element of rustiness to the early performance in the game.

"I think in the first 20 to 30 minutes, we were probably a bit rusty to be honest with you. We hadn't played in two and a half to three weeks and that probably showed in the opening stages," he told Oisin.

"But after that, we probably got to grips with it, passed it a bit better and created a few chances. But it was disappointing that opening 20-30 minutes when we conceded the goal."

Meanwhile, John Mountney is dusting himself down and focusing on an important trip to Israel when the fixture against Maccabi Tel Aviv provides some hope that a historic qualification can still be achieved.

"Looking back, of course it's disappointing to lose but it doesn't change mindsets. We know we need to go out to Israel and get the win now and that's what we'll be preparing to do," he told Oisin.