Alan Browne admitted the Republic of Ireland will need time to lick their wounds after their Danish mission fell short at the Aviva Stadium on Monday night.
Browne was a surprise inclusion on the right side of midfield for the crunch Euro 2020 Group D qualifier, but he acquitted himself well before being shifted into his preferred central role.
The hosts were gearing up for major climactic push when Martin Braithwaite poked home a 73rd-minute volley against the run of play to put Denmark ahead and suck the air out of Lansdowne Road.
Although Matt Doherty nodded home a late equaliser in the 1-1 draw, Ireland couldn't muster a winner.
They now head for the play-off semi-finals in March, potentially facing either Wales, Slovakia or Bosnia. A despondent Browne could not hide his frustration.
"We're massively disappointed," he said afterwards.
"A few people have said there’s positives to take from it, but at the moment we’re all gutted. It’s something we’ll have to reflect on in the coming days and weeks. We’ve got another chance in March. We need to regroup and go again.
"The lads gave a real strong performance.
"I don’t think they deserved the goal at that point of the game. We’d the better chances and it was against the run of play really. It knocked us back a peg or two but we came out, got our equaliser and left everything out there. It wasn’t to be."
The Preston man has really had to earn his chances to shine in green but he came out of Monday’s draw with a bit more credit in the bank.
Browne admitted there were butterflies beforehand, flutters that dissipated as the game progressed. In the end, despondency was the overriding emotion – and a nagging annoyance that a bouncing Aviva didn’t get the victory it craved.
The atmosphere was incredible. The fans really got behind us and pushed us all the way
"We obviously wanted to qualify tonight… to give everyone the special night that they wanted. It wasn’t to be," he said.
"The atmosphere was incredible. The fans really got behind us and pushed us all the way. It was just a disappointment that we couldn’t give them what they deserved.
"I tried to enjoy it. It was a massive occasion and a big experience for me. I had a few nervy spells but I think everybody goes through those patches."
As for the play-offs, the Corkman was happy to park thoughts about the draw until a later date.
"I haven’t thought about that yet," he said. "We’re still gutted about the game."