Regret would be putting it too high.
Mild irritation is maybe a better fit.
Even in this season of seasons, St Johnstone have got room for a bit of annoyance.
Given the campaign the Perth team have enjoyed, given the one Aberdeen have endured and given the way the four games between the sides have played out in the Premiership, a return of one point from 12 and no wins in three home fixtures will vex them.
In the dozen years Saints have been back in the top flight, this will go down as the second worst record in head-to-heads with the Dons behind the three defeats out of three in 2017/18.
Should they fall a point or two short of overhauling Livingston for fifth place and, in all likelihood, European football, no opponent will provoke ‘if onlys’ quite like Aberdeen.
There was the early season contest at McDiarmid Park that Saints suffered a late sucker-punch defeat in, the Alan Muir penalty decision which robbed them at Pittodrie, the instantly forgettable 0-0 at the end of January and now the weekend 1-0 triumph for Aberdeen in Paul Sheerin’s last game as interim manager.
These are two evenly-matched teams when they meet and, as such, it should be closer to an evenly-matched share of 12 points as opposed to the imbalanced 11 to one.
The man who has played for both teams in the fixture, Craig Bryson, certainly feels that way.
“They’ve all been tight,” said the midfielder who moved from Granite to Fair City towards the end of the stretched-out summer transfer window.
“Aberdeen have won three of the games by one goal.
“I played in the first one here for them – and St Johnstone probably deserved something that night.
“It’s not nice losing any game but I didn’t think there was anything in this one either, so it was a tough defeat to take.”
Bryson was part of a freshened up Saints team. Four changes were made by Callum Davidson and it was a return to the lone striker and two men off him that the Perth boss prefers against the top quartet in the league.
The aggressive press they effected worked very well in the first half, partly as a result of the cohesion the midfield and attackers brought to it and partly as a result of the Aberdeen defenders’ stubbornness at trying to play out from the back when the situation demanded more variety.
Traps were set and time and time again they caught some prey.
Had Chris Kane finished from eight yards with nobody near him, Saints would have earned the narrow lead their dominance merited and the narrow lead they have become experts in protecting.
Instead, superb play from Matty Kennedy to pick out the outside-to-in run of Jonny Hayes, which was enough to gain a crucial half-yard on Shaun Rooney, proved to be the game’s defining moment.
From there, woodwork and Joe Lewis did the rest.
“I thought we played quite well and there were a few chances in the first half when we got in good positions that we didn’t take,” said Bryson.
“When you play against the better teams in the league you get punished for that, which is what happened.
“I’m not really sure there was anything else we could have done differently. Goals change games. It was a harsh result.”
Bryson is arguably the one whose contribution has been accompanied by the quietest fanfare.
Every Davidson signing has had a key role to play this season, apart from young Tanto Olaofe, whose loan was cut short.
Of the post-Tommy Wright era recruits, Bryson is arguably the one whose contribution has been accompanied by the quietest fanfare.
Danny McNamara has his unofficial ‘player of the half-season’ accolade, Craig Conway has his Hampden goal and assists, Guy Melamed has his cult status and his Bergkamp moment at Hamilton and Glenn Middleton has his goal that secured top six football.
That Bryson’s part hasn’t been the dynamic, all-energy, goal-scoring one of his peak years at Kilmarnock and Derby County is indisputable.
But, as with Conway, Davidson has made significant use of refined and under-stated, perhaps under-appreciated, attributes.
There can be no coincidence that of Bryson’s 10 league starts for Saints, six have been against the historic big three in the division – Rangers, Celtic and Aberdeen.
In games like these, when midfielders’ first touches, speed of thought and pass precision can be brutally exposed as in need to attention, the true masters of possession football continue to prosper.
For Bryson, the statistics are compelling.
His passing accuracy, as recorded by Opta, has never dropped below 70% across all of his starts – something no other Saints midfielder can claim this season.
It has peaked as high as 93.9%, against Dundee United in October, and now averages at 80.4%.
On Saturday, Bryson was above that mark on 87.9%. For context, Ali McCann’s number was 64.1% and Aberdeen’s Lewis Ferguson 77.3%.
Like several others, his contract will be up in a few weeks.
If he stays with Saints for another season he’s not going to become a regular in the starting line-up at 34. But the qualities he has brought to Davidson’s squad are the sort that don’t dramatically diminish.
“I’ve not actually spoken to the manager yet,” said Bryson. “When he gets round to me, we’ll have a conversation and see what happens.
“I enjoy it at St Johnstone. The gaffer has been excellent with me and it’s an unbelievable group of lads.
“To win a cup and finish in the top six has made it a great season.
“Every player wants to play every game and if you’re not in the team, you’re disappointed.
“Any time you aren’t picked, you accept it and you train that bit harder the next week. To stay in the team you need to play well. That’s how it is here.”
The other 34-year-old midfielder at McDiarmid Park, whose place he took in the team on Saturday, has name-checked Bryson for the nutrition advice that has helped his conditioning this season.
Providing Liam Craig with new recipes is just another example of the below the radar but important impact Bryson has had in his short time with Saints.
“I turned vegetarian back in 2017,” said the former Scotland international. “I qualified as a personal trainer the same year.
“At that point I really started taking an interest in food and what’s going into your body.
“It seems to have worked for me and I’ve passed it onto a few of the lads who like a take-away sometimes!
“I want to get as much out of my career as I can and I’m always there for advice if anybody wants it.”
The next bit of advice Bryson will be passing on to his team-mates is beware of a Clyde cup shock.
As the youngest player in the Bully Wee side that famously knocked Celtic out of the competition on Roy Keane’s debut back in 2006, the scorer of the opening goal that afternoon has special Scottish Cup memories to cherish and use as a warning of what could happen when Saints meet Clyde in the last-16 this weekend.
“I’ve not played against Clyde since I left,” said Bryson.
“I’ll never forget where I came from and what they did for me in my career. Hopefully there are still a few familiar faces next weekend. It will be a case of trying to win a game for St Johnstone and then speaking to everybody after.
“It’s still one of the best days of my career.
“Nobody gave us a chance going into that game.
“We played brilliantly and even had goals disallowed. We thoroughly deserved our win.
“I’d certainly have taken 2-1 before the game, that’s for sure.
“It was a great day for Clyde, a great day for the players and a great day for everybody connected with the club.
“Hopefully there isn’t another day like that at St Johnstone’s expense.”
Saturday’s result was an opportunity lost for Saints to close the four-point gap to Livingston.
But, with their rivals for fifth in the Premiership being thrashed by Celtic, it will still only take a one-point swing in Saints’ favour to set up a last day shoot-out against David Martindale’s men.
“It’s basically a case of trying to get as many points as we can and see where that takes us,” said Bryson.
“Top six, Europe and the Betfred Cup would be an unbelievable season. And we’ll be trying to go on a run in the Scottish Cup as well.”