London: The heartbreak was too raw and the experience too familiar for Roy Hodgson to feel anything other than bitter disappointment after his Fulham team`s last-gasp Europa League final defeat.
Diego Forlan`s goal four minutes from the end of extra-time gave Atletico Madrid a 2-1 win and consigned Hodgson to a second final defeat in the competition, 13 years on from the loss he suffered in charge of Inter Milan, on penalties to Schalke 04.
Hodgson has been in charge of eight teams in seven countries since then and his reaction at missing out on his unexpected shot at redemption was understandably pained.
"It doesn`t matter how much comfort I try to find, and there is a lot to be found in the season, at this moment now it is difficult to find any comfort, joy or enthusiasm," the 62-year-old Englishman told reporters.
"You`d be surprised if my attitude was anything but bitterness and disappointment at seeing another good performance go unrewarded."
Hodgson and his team certainly have a lot to be proud of.
He joined Fulham at the end of 2007 and after staving off relegation in his first season he guided them to a place in the UEFA Cup and on to the giantkilling run that took them through to the final and earned him England`s Manager of the Year award.
This year their league form dipped a little and they eventually finished down in 12th. That, and their final defeat on Wednesday, means there will be no return to the competition next season.
Hodgson`s success in the modest surrounds of Craven Cottage could see a string of offers from bigger clubs coming his way but for the moment he has no plans to leave.
"As far as my future, I` haven`t given it a thought," he said. "I`ve been committed to Fulham I have a contact at the club and as far as I know that`s where I`ll be."