PERTH Glory coach Ian Ferguson says his side must use their heartbreaking Grand Final defeat as motivation for next season.
Sunday's 2-1 loss to Brisbane Roar was a bitter pill to swallow for a Glory side who had effectively blunted their potent attack for nearly the entire match.
The Western Australians came to Suncorp Stadium on the back of three consecutive finals wins and looked good value for one more on the most important day on the Hyundai A-League calendar when an own goal to Ivan Franjic gave them the lead after half-time.
But everything changed in a furious final 10 minutes that saw Brisbane equalise through Besart Berisha, Dean Heffernan shown his second yellow card and one of the most contentious penalties in league history given right at the death.
It was not the way Glory deserved to go out, but their coach said their disappointment will be channeled in the right way.
"We've got to build on it, there's no use dwelling on it," Ferguson said after the match.
"The plus for us is that we actually reached the grand final and we were actually 10 minutes away from winning it. I said to them I was very proud of them and how they've played the season.
"Nobody's given us a chance and they've come through, they've gotten over hurdle after hurdle. I'm very proud of every one of them and the effort they put in today.
"We weren't the easybeats everyone tipped us to be, we made it difficult for them."
Ferguson said his men had been instructed to press high up the park and restrict the space allowed to the Roar.
While that approach meant they had very little in the way of opportunities in attack for themselves, he said it was either that, or let Brisbane play the game on their own terms.
"We knew we couldn't sit back, when you give the good players the time, they can easily hurt you," he said.
"We watched the videos, we watched the last game as well against the Mariners and we knew that we had to put pressure on certain players in certain areas and show them lines.
"I thought that went really well up until the last 10 minutes."
Ferguson also believed the penalty to Berisha in the dying minutes was incorrectly awarded, but he was reluctant to criticise referee Jarred Gillett.
"There's not too much I can do or bring back, or take back time, but that's what's happened," he said.
"I don't mean to be rude but I don't want to talk about the referee, I don't want to condemn the guy. He's made the mistake and I don't want to talk about referees."