Graeme Shinnie said he had forgiven Mikael Lustig after the Swede’s celebrations threatened to boil over into a Hampden set to.
The Aberdeen captain was unimpressed when Tom Rogic’s late Scottish Cup winner sparked scenes of wild celebration in the Celtic ranks after a fiercely contested finale to a season where the Pittodrie side have been second best in every domestic competition.
“It’s never nice having someone celebrating in your face when they win it in the last minute, but I guess that’s football and you have to take it. To be fair, he came over and apologised so there’s no hard feelings there for me. I’m a big enough man to take that. They’ve won the treble and they deserve to celebrate.
“I think he just got caught up in the moment and I think I was in the wrong place at the wrong time when the whistle went and they are naturally going to celebrate. I would do it myself if I was in that position so there’s no hard feelings there.”
But emotions were raw as Derek McInnes’ men were forced to settle for another runners up medal despite pushing Celtic all the way in the battle for the final piece of silverware.
“Naturally everyone was gutted in the dressing room, you could see that when we were on the pitch after the game. But we have to try to reflect on the season and realise it has been a good one for us – it’s just a hard way to end it,” said the man who replaced Rangers-bound Ryan Jack as captain. “The whole season has been about progressing, and obviously next season we want to go a step further and actually win silverware. We’re keeping the core of the team. In football you’re going to lose people, that’s what happens but I have all the faith in the manager to replace them with quality.”
He also believes that the gaffer will turn down any overtures from Sunderland to remain at Aberdeen.
“His whole focus is here. He’s done a remarkable job rebuilding the club from where they were when he took over to where they are now, and he’ll keep looking to build on that. That’s the kind of guy he is. He always strives to do as well as he can and make the team as good as it can be.”
“The way we played today, having Celtic rattled at points, proves that we are the team to challenge them.”
The frustration was that they could not take the chances when it mattered yesterday. Squandering their early lead within two minutes, and passing up other openings.
The best of those came from a Johnny Hayes breakaway but he could not link up with Kenny McLean. “When you go through two on one like we did your eyes light up,” said the Irishman. ”I haven’t seen it back yet but I think I should have done better, I could have taken the shot on myself and it’s something that will probably stick with me for the rest of the summer.
“Was it a turning point? I don’t really know because I can’t really remember what went on for the last 25 to 30 minutes. But there were times when we could have nicked a second goal and there were times we hung on in there for our lives.
“We were just getting ourselves mentally prepared for extra time and then they hit us with a sucker punch. It’s a tough one to take because that’s the cruellest way to lose a cup final.”