Sheffield United skipper Michael Doyle reckons goalkeeper Steve Simonsen did not deserve to be the one to miss the decisive spot-kick as Saturday's npower League One play-off final was decided by a penalty shoot-out.
Simonsen had kept the Blades in the game with two superb saves in normal time, another in extra-time and two further efforts after a goalless 120 minutes to deny Huddersfield pair Tommy Miller and Alan Lee in the shoot-out, but blazed his own effort over the crossbar after opposite number Alex Smithies had converted his.
Doyle, whose side eventually lost 8-7 on penalties, said: "When it goes to penalties you never think it's going to go to 11 and that the keepers are going to have to take one. Steve was unfortunate not to save their keeper's."
He added: "It's just so tough when it comes to that, you don't expect that, but I suppose these are the things you've got to be ready for and prepare for. But Simmo didn't deserve that with the game he's had and the season he's had, he's been outstanding, but unfortunately it had to be him."
Doyle said the misery of Saturday's cruel defeat would spur the club on to win automatic promotion next season.
He went on to say: "We've just said to the lads, and the manager said the same, we've got to be ready to come back pre-season and use this hurt to get ourselves back up and win this league next year. I know it's hard and people don't want to hear that, but that's the way I'm thinking already. Come back pre-season, work harder, be hungrier and hit the ground running."