He had tears in his eyes as he left the Wembley pitch but it was a case of pride over devastation for Carlos Carvalhal.
Despite Sheffield Wednesday’s defeat in the play-off final last weekend, Carvalhal and his players were serenaded by supporters as Hull City celebrated at the other end of the national stadium.
It was a reaction, coming after such bitter disappointment, that could not fail to move the usually unflappable Portuguese head coach.
Though they had witnessed their side miss out on Premier League football, Wednesdayites chose to demonstrate their pride and appreciation for the excellent work of a full season.
And when Carvalhal returned to the dressing room, he chose the same tact to take with his players – even if, as he would admit later, that he was disappointed in the manner of their performance on the day at Wembley.
“I said to them we are very proud of all of them,” he said.
“Not just the players who played on that day but all of the guys who have made a big participation throughout the season.
“They have all helped the team.
“I have a fantastic group of players and a very good atmosphere.
“I have thanked them for everything they have done for the club.”
Much has been made of the vocal backing given by Wednesdayites at Wembley last weekend, including the reception they gave at the end of the game.
And Carvalhal revealed he encouraged his players to remember the reaction they got and repay the faith of supporters next season.
He also believes the scenes at the national stadium showed the club has truly been rejuvenated over the last year.
He said: “I told the players to remember the moments after the game with the fans.
“It is something that we must put in our hearts.
“It was important to clap the fans. They are proud of us and we are proud of them.
“The giant has woken up and the respect of Sheffield Wednesday is completely different.
“It is something that we can’t stop now.”