“It’s a very hard one to take because we’ve had an amazing season,” said Ali Al-Habsi in the immediate aftermath of a shoot-out defeat against Huddersfield at Wembley in the play-off final. “Everyone at this football club has worked hard and we reached the final.
“I think we did a fantastic job during the 120 minutes and tried our best to go and win the game. We have to be proud of ourselves and we have to be proud of the season because I think we did really, really well to reach the final.
“We wanted to make everybody happy, but at the end of the day only one team can win, especially in a penalty shoot-out.
“Congratulations to Huddersfield on promotion, but for us it is hard to say many words. All we can say is we are very proud of everyone.
“It will be difficult to take in the next few days, but hopefully we can use this to make us stronger. We want to start next year well and learn from this.
“The fans were brilliant supporting us for 120 minutes, we wanted them to be happier but everyone is disappointed. Players, staff and everyone in the football club is very disappointed.
“Everyone gave everything. We have to go on now with our heads up, go home and relax for the next few weeks and then go into pre-season.
“We have a great manager, we’ve done fantastically this year and we will come back strongly for the next one.”