While disappointed that Ireland will not be at next summer's Euros after losing on penalties to Slovakia, Richie Sadlier was impressed with the proactive approach of Stephen Kenny's side in Bratislava.
The Irish created more than a few chances against the Slovaks, before going down on the lottery that is spot kicks.
Assessing the effort, Sadlier told RTÉ Sport: "It's hard not to feel negative because it's so disappointing. It's so heart-breaking because they did enough to win the game.
"But when you reflect reflect on the previous defeats that Ireland had away from home you have to take stock of what Stephen Kenny said earlier this week. Going into this game he aimed to be more positive than reactive, like we have been in previous years. Now I know what he meant..
"We played with a purpose tonight that we usually have to wait for until we're a goal down. We react to scenarios that go badly, so as to produce those kind of performances.
"Tonight we tried to impose our way of playing. Okay, you can't do it for two hours and at times tonight we were under pressure. But you could see all the things that Stephen has been talking about for the last two years play out. We were patient on the ball, we had options when we kept it. We looked like a threat to their goalkeeper and that's been an area of weakness in the last two years."
Joining Sadlier in the RTÉ studio, who also took many positives from watching the two hours of football in the Slovak capital.
"Over the course of the game we deserve to win it. You would have to say we played the better football, created the better clear-cut chances but we didn't take them. I don't think the game should have gotten to penalties, we were positive and it was as good as we've been away from home for a long time.
"That's what we can take going forward. It is a new chapter from Stephen Kenny going forward. We need to take the positives from the game and not be all negative tomorrow. Away from home we played excellently."