Trimble: Plaudits no comfort
Andrew Trimble insists Ulster should take little comfort from "patronising" compliments over their impressive run in Europe this season.
The Irish province saw their first visit to the knockout stages of the Heineken Cup since winning the tournament in 1999 end with a 23-13 defeat by Northampton. Ulster have been showered with praise for their progress this season - they also occupy second place in the Magners League - but Trimble claims only silverware will satisfy their appetite for success.
"Perhaps it's a little bit patronising when people say 'well done Ulster, you've done great and you've achieved unexpected goals this year'," said the Ireland winger.
"We are very ambitious and a lot of the guys in this team want to do big things - we're not satisfied with getting into the quarter-finals and then being beaten. This defeat is the sort of thing that is going to spur us on to bigger and better things next year.
"We have come a long way in the past 12 months and we acknowledge that, but we want to look back in years to come and say that it's nothing compared to what's going to happen."
Trimble, a first-half try-scorer against Saints at stadium:mk on Sunday, revealed Ulster were distraught following their defeat.
"We went out, we showed 40 minutes of what we're capable of and a couple of glimpses in the second-half, but then just lost the physical battle," he said.
"It's difficult when every time you get the ball you get smashed by big physical guys. We've learnt our lesson at this level - that it's not acceptable to come out and play for 40 minutes.
"It isn't going to be enough when you are playing sides like Northampton and the physicality that they bring to the game.
"Everybody's devastated and we are going to use our hurt to good measure when it comes to the rest of the season and next year. The feeling is desperation from how frustrating and how disappointing it is to lose a game like that."