Linfield will fight back, warns David Healy after Irish Cup loss to Glenavon
There was no hiding place for the Linfield players. They had to stay behind after the final whistle and watch the trophy presentation, knowing they would leave the pitch with regrets they would never be able to shake off.
Now they have a long summer to dwell on another trophyless campaign. Two cup finals, two defeats and they also came up short in the title race.
No-one was willing to offer excuses because there aren't any. There was just wounded pride in the Linfield dressing room. You can't turn the clock back. It's gone and it will hurt for a long time.
Midfielder Stephen Lowry said: "We should have done better. I can only apologise to the fans who came here in big numbers.
"The goals came at the worst possible times. It's gutting and too many players including myself didn't turn up. Glenavon were deserved winners so full credit to them.
"They were solid and dangerous while we weren't. We started on top but they grew into it and Kevin Braniff showed his class for the goal.
"We can only apologise and come back from this, it's as simple as that."
Blues boss David Healy referred to the experience as "gut-wrenching" and there was deep frustration written all over his face. How do you solve a problem like Linfield?
"I didn't need to criticise the players after the game as I could see how disappointed they were," said Healy (left).
"We will analyse where it went wrong and hopefully learn from it.
"I've had that sickening feeling as player before when I haven't scored. As a player I would always fight back and this club will do that."