Scott Allan was the only Hibs player whose Hampden Park emotions got anywhere close to “mixed”.
But even the former Dundee and Dundee United midfielder, who made his comeback as a second half substitute in Saturday’s semi-final against St Johnstone, admitted the overwhelming feeling after being knocked out of the Betfred Cup was of frustration at a big “opportunity missed”.
“On a personal level I was just delighted to get minutes under my belt,” he said. “That’s the first proper game I have been involved in since August 30, I think.
“I felt OK and that’s the positive. I feel tired, obviously. It’s been a long time, so I was really happy having come through it, and having come through the last five months.
“You can train as much as you want but nothing will replicate a game of football, never mind a semi-final of a cup with the chance to get to a final.
“I think I have shown the manager the hunger I have had to get back involved, and he obviously still has the trust in me to put me on.”
Allan added: “It’s definitely an opportunity missed but I feel all the teams left would have felt in their changing room they had enough to go on and win it.
“We’ve not done the basics. We have not defended set-pieces and we have got sloppy after we conceded the third goal as well. We didn’t threaten enough. We just didn’t do the right things.
“You can forgive people when they try to do the right things but we made some poor mistakes and we have been punished.
“Losing any semi-final is heart-breaking, but this was a chance. We knew who was left in the competition. There was no Old Firm there.
“We have let the coaching staff down, the fans down and now we need to pick ourselves up.
“The coaching staff put in a lot of time and effort, especially into defending set-pieces.
“But on the flip side of that you have got to be a player who wants to stand up and be counted and take the game by the scruff of the neck, and we didn’t do that today.
“It’s very disappointing from a club perspective.
“We need to show a bit of character now, big time.”
An undisclosed health issue has kept Allan out of the Easter Road side but he didn’t want to go into detail about that at the weekend.
“On a personal level it’s mixed emotions,” he said.
“I was just really happy to be back out there and sharing a changing room with my team-mates again, and back on the ball.”