With pride intact and heads held high, let's get our World Cup qualifying campaign up and running with a win against the Bulgarians at Windsor Park on Wednesday night.
Everyone was hoping for a miracle in Thursday night's opener against Italy in Parma, but the reality is that the Italians just don't do defeat at home - especially in the World Cup.
They are a good side, I've watched them a lot. They press really well, but we really improved in the second half and were definitely worth a goal.
Ian Baraclough said we showed them too much respect at the start, and I think he hit the nail on the head. It probably took us half an hour to get going because we haven't played together for such a long time.
Deep down, I was hoping for a scoreless draw and I really think we could have achieved that if we hadn't have been so shy at the start.
Unfortunately, their two goals were preventable. I felt sorry for young Bailey Peacock-Farrell. You simply can't be beaten at the near post, and the second goal was just as bad.
Again, I have to ask the question, when was the last time the lad played a competitive game? He's not getting games at Burnley, so it's difficult being a goalkeeper at that level.
When the second one went in I thought the worst but the boys regrouped, credit to them.
It wasn't the result we were after, but we came out of it with our pride intact. Don't forget, that's the toughest game we'll have in the group.
I know Switzerland are also a good outfit but we had two cracking games against them in the World Cup 2018 Play-Offs and did well in both. I don't really fear the Swiss, I think the Italians are a much better side.
The Swiss had a good start with their opening win over Bulgaria, and it means the pressure is now on us to repeat the dose. If we want to make any impact at all, the next game comes into the must-win category.
I thought Ian's starting line-up was good, although I thought he may have gone with Kyle Lafferty up front because he played in Italy recently. But big Josh Magennis is probably our best option as a target man, with Gavin Whyte playing off him.
It was a pretty decent selection, considering the players we had missing. Then, as the game wore on, he gambled by bringing on young Shayne Lavery. There was one incident near the end when he was free inside the box, but Steve Davis' pass was just a yard short. Had he been able to put it in front of Lavery, I would have fancied him to hit the target, especially as he has been in great goalscoring form.
Big Paddy McNair will also be wondering how he got one over the crossbar when he looked a banker to hit the target. He is one of my favourite players; he's that much ability, he could play anywhere.
He got under the shot and scooped over. That was our best chance. But the performance left me full of optimism.
I know we have a game today against the USA, but Ian's focus will be on Wednesday. He will probably reshape the group and give some of the players on the periphery a chance against the Americans. It will give him a look at certain players and perhaps get a few pointers for the Bulgaria match.