Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager Billy Dodds said he was proud of his team’s showing in the Scottish Cup final, saying they put in ‘a hell of a performance’.
The Championship side lost 3-1 to Celtic at the national stadium but held their own for large parts of the game and brought the score back to 2-1 late in the match before Jota put the result beyond doubt.
Dodds admitted disappointment at the outcome but didn’t want that to overshadow how he felt about his team.
“I feel everything a losing manager feels,” Dodds said.
“Disappointed but proud at the same time because there’s a massive gulf between the teams.
“I thought we asked them questions at certain times in the game. I really did.
“We lost goals at bad times because I was trying to get it to half time [at 0-0]. I had a plan in my head and then we lost a goal when we were going to make an attacking substitution, which made it more difficult.
“Then we got back in the game and lose another goal on 91 minutes.”
After missing out on the promotion play-offs, Inverness were without competitive football for a month in the run-up to the game. Dodds felt the team showed real character to respond in the way that they did and put everything into a tough game against the Scottish champions.
“Sometimes you use the phrase that you’re proud of your players and just throw it out there,” he said. “I love working with this group.
“They are tremendous and they love coming into their work every day.
“And after being idle for about five weeks or so, I thought they put on a hell of a performance.”