Linfield manager David Healy just couldn’t camouflage his disappointment, anger and sheer frustration following his team’s dismal performance in the Tennent’s Irish Cup final at Windsor Park.
The defeat by Glenavon is the latest in a long line of horrible setbacks that has now deprived the Blues of a major trophy for four years.
That scenario was totally unthinkable 10 years ago when, under the managerial expertise of David Jeffrey, league and cup doubles were a regular toast at the international venue.
Having previously lost in the Shield final – and run Crusaders close in the league title race – Healy was confident his troops could end the hoodoo by bringing silverware back to the club.
Unfortunately, the boys in Blue fell short once again.
“If I am brutally honest, I don’t think enough of our big players turned up. I’m not going to lie – I don’t cover tracks or hide the way I feel. Finishing second in the league suffering defeats in two cup finals is not acceptable at Linfield.
“I need to find out who I can get in to give us the belief and the edge -- and that wee bit of mentality to get us over the line. It’s my job to do that. It’s something I’ll be working hard on over the next four or five weeks.
“I’ll be back at the club, ready to go again on Monday. I’ll be having meeting with the players. I want them to have a mind-set that we are not going to finish second any more.
“Without being too critical on the players, there is something missing to get us over the line when it matters. We’ve now been shy of winning trophies for the past three or four years. I’m the manager . . . I’m accountable to find out why we are lacking in that department.”
Healy was puzzled why his boys froze on the day, in front of a bumper 11,500 crowd. He added: “We started in a decent manner. We took our foot off the gas and never really got it back on again. The goals also came a crucial times.
“It makes me sick to the bottom of my stomach to say we were second best on the day.”