Roberto Martinez insists FA Cup winners Wigan must be proud of their achievements despite suffering the "heartbreak" of relegation from the Barclays Premier League with a 4-1 defeat at Arsenal.
It was always going to be a big ask for Wigan to lift themselves for such a huge game just 72 hours after their glorious Wembley victory over Manchester City, where anything other than all three points would have seen them join Reading and QPR in the npower Championship, and so it proved.
Lukas Podolski nodded the Gunners in front on 11 minutes, but Shaun Maloney gave the visitors hope when he crashed home a free-kick on the stroke of half-time.
However, three goals in the space of eight minutes just after the hour from Theo Walcott, Podolski and Aaron Ramsey meant there was to be no fairytale ending for Martinez's men, despite another brave crack at the great escape.
"It is not one of those moments to be too sad - it is the opposite," Martinez said.
"To have eight years at this level is incredible. We have beaten every top club and financially we are in a strong position. As a Wigan fan, it is a time to be proud of what we have achieved.
"The FA Cup is an achievement we will never lose as a club. It is our first silverware, but it is a real shame it happens in the same season as relegation.
"You don't normally get teams good enough to win the cup going down - that is why it is difficult to take.
"When you walk into the dressing room after this match, it is heartbreaking.
"But we haven't been good enough in the defensive area and that is why we have been relegated."
"You don't normally get teams good enough to win the cup going down - that is why it is difficult to take" - Roberto Martinez
Wigan's cause last night was not helped by the loss of winger Callum McManaman, who was carried off on a stretcher following a second-half tackle with Laurent Koscielny.
"It is too early to say if he will be out for weeks or months," Martinez said.
Latics chairman Dave Whelan, meanwhile, has challenged his relegated side to bounce straight back up - and believes Martinez will be leading that charge.
Whelan, who bankrolled the rise of the Lancashire club into the top flight, feels Martinez - linked with the soon-to-be vacant Everton job - will remain with them next season.
"We have got one ambition now, and that is to come straight back up next season," Whelan told talkSPORT.
"We will fight next year, and we'll look to come back within that first season - it's so important.
"Roberto knows how I feel about him and I know how Roberto feels about me and the club. He's a very, very loyal gentleman.
"When the day dawns - and it will - when he says, 'chairman, I want to go to this or that club', I will release him immediately.
"He is aware of that, and if that time is now, so be it, but somehow I don't think it will be.
"I am just hoping Roberto waits and has another one or two years with us, because he will eventually go to a top European club."
Whelan added that there had been no contact from Everton, who will be looking for a new manager in the summer when David Moyes departs for Manchester United.
"Everton are a super club and they know the rules and regulations. They are very mannerly and I don't think they would ever approach Roberto before the season is over," he said.
"Even if he's in their minds, I know (Everton chairman) Bill Kenwright wouldn't do anything like that."