Linfield manager David Healy admitted after his side’s Champions League defeat by Norwegian outfit Rosenborg that he was far from surprised.
“We were under no illusions beforehand that Rosenborg were a class act,” said Northern Ireland’s all time leading goalscorer.
“They have consistently made progress to the group stages of the Champions League and the Europa League.
"So we knew what we were getting. I told the players beforehand that playing in the Champions League this evening was the result of ten months of graft last season.
“We had earned the right to be there but there is no getting away from the fact that they are a quality side."
But even in defeat the Blues boss admitted that certain frustrations remained.
"There were things that he knew they could have done better," he added.
"Take for example their No 7 Jensen. In the build-up to the match we talked about him, his ability and his liking for making late runs into the box at the back post.
"I described him in our dressing room the other day as a sort of Frank Lampard/Gus Poyet type of player who has good movement and an eye for goal.
“So when he pops up in our box and we neither picked up the run or prevented the cross it annoying.
"But to be fair to the boys we weren’t cut open too many times and I can’t fault the players for their effort, their application and sometimes you have to hold your hand up and say we were beaten by a better team."
Healy says that already the thoughts of himself, his staff and the squad have turned to next week’s game.
"They accept it will be even tougher in Norway where Rosenborg have an impressive home record they are very proud of.
"Hopefully they are leaving Belfast believing the job’s done” smiled Healy , "and football has a history of throwing up freak results.
“The players will be prepared to go there, have a decent go at them and hopefully win the game."