Melbourne City coach Patrick Kisnorbo said he could not be more proud of his players despite slipping to a 2-0 defeat against Western United in the A-League grand final.
City were the hot fancies heading into the game after already winning the minor premiership but Western pulled off a surprise as a Nuno Reis own goal and a strike by Aleksandar Prijovic wrapped up the win.
Despite the loss Kisnorbo said he was proud of the effort that his side put in. And he believes they will learn from the defeat which will make them a better team going forward.
"Sometimes you need to hurt to grow a bit," Kisnorbo told reporters after the game. "I'm sure they're feeling the hurt now but they've had a fantastic couple of years, so I couldn't be much prouder.”
City had won the premiership/championship double last season and were looking to do the same again this year. They would have been the first side in A-League history to achieve that back-to-back.
It is a big disappointment to miss out but Kisnorbo is confident they can bounce back in the new season.
"With the players, the hunger is always there," he added. "When I look at last season to this season, maybe a 20-minute lapse is costing us. Maybe last season we got away with it and this season you don't.
"It's a lesson for us to know that you can't switch off for 90 minutes. It's one of those things that we need to get better in and it's one of those things that will drive the players for next season."