“We wanted to do it for the management” - Lowestoft captain Dan Gleeson on the Blues’ play-off final defeat
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2012
Blues' captain Dan Gleeson is adamant the club's latest Ryman League, Premier Division play-off pain will only stiffen their resolve to seal Conference-level football.
The former Cambridge United stalwart revealed in the immediate aftermath his first thoughts were with Lowestoft's management team after suffering fresh play-off agony.
'What can you do but just go again? We don't have any option. When it happens three years on the trot you do start to think and feel maybe it is not to be, but you can't curl up and die,' said Gleeson. 'You have to take it on the chin, congratulate Concord, and make sure we come again stronger and better and get ourselves up straight away. We don't want to put ourselves through this again.
'For those who have been here three years and the management it is devastating. It means so much to the management. We all know that as players. They are the football club. The lads wanted to give them something back and it wasn't meant to be. It is so heart-breaking. It is tough to take. It feels like it has been snatched away from us because I don't think we deserved to lose if I am honest.'
Gleeson accepted Steve King's early opener for Concord had rocked the Blues.
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'The first ten minutes we were poor and sloppy but that was probably down to nerves,' he said. 'After that I thought we dominated. Fair play to Concord, they came and did what they had to do. We always knew it was going to be tense. These type of occasions always are. It is whoever takes that chance. I think the first goal was avoidable but again it is fine margins.
'When you go 1-0 down in the final that is a setback but we have equalised before the break and then dominated for long periods.
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'We have gone all this way and it is for nothing but we were told Concord were the sort of team who would keep going and that has been the case. The lads are just gutted.
'They had the momentum coming into the play-offs but on another day we win this game. Concord have had as tough a season as we have with injuries and all the best to them next season.'
Gleeson is braced for a long period of reflection before getting a fresh chance to push the club up the non league ladder.
'The summer will hurt now but we have good characters and we will stick together. We'll be all right,' he said. 'We have good players. You don't get this far and win as many games as we did in such a short space of time without good players and good characters. We played three games a week for a month. We've just come up short on the day. The lads have done so well. You can't fault the effort this season.'