Pain of cup final defeat almost indescribable
This was always going to be the easiest or most difficult blog I have written, depending on the outcome of Sunday's Co-operative Insurance Cup final.
It is fair to say, however, that I did not appreciate how hard it would be to articulate the emotions felt after our defeat.
Losing a cup final in any manner is heart-breaking but when you consider the nature of the majority of our performance, the numerical advantage we gained in the second half and the fantastic opportunity we had to win, then the pain is almost indescribable.
Analysing a football match always produces a variety of opinion and often leads to extreme views rather than more balanced analysis.
Examining our display yesterday, if you only want to look at the last 20 minutes of the game, then we did not play well as we failed to utilise our 11 v 9 advantage by remaining patient enough to move Rangers as a unit from side to side before an opening appeared.
However, if you take the game prior to that then we played very well: we retained possession, did not allow Rangers to gain momentum, picked up second balls and created chances.
How, therefore, do you sum up the whole performance?
I think that is difficult because ultimately we lost the match and a golden chance to win a cup, but there are no doubts that our performance was good and better than most outwith our club expected.
Going back to why we didn't play in the most productive way after Rangers' sendings off, the best way to explain it is the desperation to try to win the game.
In football, there are no time-outs available, no chance to calm people down and reorganise. It has to be done in the heat of battle, when adrenaline is flowing and emotions are high.
Yesterday all this was flowing furiously through our side as we chased the dream.
Ultimately this inability to regroup and refocus cost us victory but our display prior to this had at least given us the opportunity to do so.
Our dressing room was a very quiet place after the game, with some of us visibly overcome with the disappointment.
I understand supporters believe that players don't care as much as they do.
While most players in a team will never have been brought up to support that club, and consequently never have gone through the ups and downs that following them entails, while we are lucky enough to wear that shirt we are just as passionate about the club as the fans are and desire success just as much.
Therefore, players hurt just as much, suffer the gut-wrenching anguish that defeats such as yesterday's provide because we stand shoulder to shoulder as team-mates on a weekly basis and try to win matches as a team and for our club.
Such togetherness is what we will need to bounce back and return to winning league games, starting with Celtic on Wednesday. Strength of character will, of course, be required, but we know we have it; we just have to keep proving it.
Finally, much was made of bonus rows in the build-up to the final, and I have been led to believe that John Potter and I have been portrayed as ring leaders and greedy.
All I can say is what utter garbage! In our captaincy positions we have no choice but to be a link between boardroom and dressing room.
And as for money being the motivation, I have played for £10 expenses in the juniors, £75 a week part-time and £200 full-time. I know Pottsy has done similar, and therefore some of the accusations made are slights on our character and so far wide of the mark.
The reason I play football is because I love the game, albeit the relationship has been momentarily soured.