Giovanni van Bronckhorst shared his disappointment after Rangers lost the Europa League final to Eintracht Frankfurt but said his players had given everything in their bid to lift the trophy.
Rangers had taken the lead in Seville through Joe Aribo but Rafael Santos Borre equalised for the Bundesliga side to force extra time. Neither side could find a winner and penalties were needed to determine the winner but Aaron Ramsey missed his spot kick and Frankfurt saw it through to win.
Van Bronckhorst said his players were understandably “down” after putting so much into the game and seeing a memorable run come to a disappointing conclusion.
“Well, it’s very down,” the Rangers manager said. “I mean, you could see that already after the game.
“It’s never nice to lose and so everyone is hurt, disappointed. And you can sense that in the locker room.
“I think it’s also normal, so short after the game.”
The manager also had words of sympathy for Ramsey after the Wales midfielder, on loan from Juventus, saw his penalty saved in the shoot-out.
“You know, Aaron, of course,was disappointed,” Van Bronckhorst said. “But he took responsibility to take the penalty.
“You can make it or you can miss it and unfortunately for us,he didn’t make it.
“But, you know, you want to have players taking penalties who are ready and are comfortable also.”
The Dutchman said his team were close but had ultimately lost by the finest of margins.
“It was of course a big disappointment,” he said. “If you lose a big final in Europe it will hurt.
“You do everything you can to win it and in the end it is a lottery and tonight we weren’t on the good side.
“But I can’t complain with what my players gave and before tonight but in the end it was a really tight game, it went all the way to penalties and we lost.
“It is a big disappointment because you are so close to winning a trophy but that’s also football.
“If you play a lot of big games, big finals, we will have memories that last for ever when you win them but when you lose it will hurt a lot.
“I lost the World Cup final – the biggest game there is and also a huge disappointment – but we have to move on, we have a big game on Saturday and next season we have to start all over again.”
The Rangers manager will now look to lift his players for Saturday’s Scottish Cup final against Hearts as the Ibrox club look to end their season with silverware.