Giovanni Trapattoni said he wouldn't sleep on Monday night after his side lost 2-0 to Italy in their final UEFA EURO 2012 Group C clash.
That ensured the popular Irish side went home without a single point after previous losses to both Croatia and Spain.
And the veteran Italian, who has won the European Cup, Cup Winners' Cup, UEFA Cup three times and titles in four different countries, including seven in his homeland, said he has also struggled to stomach failure.
Even so he spoke of his determination to keep going. "In my life I had many successes and have been manager of great teams before I took over a country," he said.
"I had the habit of always winning but when I lose I don't sleep at night. I think about whether I made a mistake. I'd have liked to play again immediately the games against Croatia and Spain.
"But against Italy we played well. I have this willingness to begin again because I'm sure all the fresh energy in this squad or the new squad can do better. I'm looking forward to starting again in the new season."
Before the Italy match Trapattoni had said his team were playing for pride and despite losing he felt they had in some way restored some of that.
"We played much better this evening than we did against Spain and Croatia, we played with more personality and respected what we had said about credibility and commitment," he said. "This evening we made some little mistakes from two corners and we're not used to these little mistakes but I'm proud of our commitment because although Italy beat us, we gave them our honour.
"We maybe deserved something from our commitment but they (Italy) didn't make many mistakes. We played very well in the first 30 minutes, we could have scored but once the first goal went in, the game was over."
That happened in the 35th minute when Antonio Cassano found the back of the net from an Andrea Pirlo corner. Thereafter, despite the fans getting excited when their team advanced, Ireland barely troubled Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.
Two more years at helm
Trapattoni spoke of his intention to continue for another two years in the Irish hot-seat but said he expected to lose a couple of his senior players before 2014 FIFA World Cup™ qualifying kicks off in a couple of months.
"Now it's too early because I can also tell you I spoke just now with one or two and we will see again in our next friendly in August," he said. "I'm sure that maybe in this moment they're disappointed because these words are in the air.
"I'm sure I'll speak with them. Maybe one or two (will retire from international football) but not more because this is a moment of great disappointment.
"I can also understand this disappointment. We had hoped to do better but I don't reproach the players because they played a good game. My colleague (Italy coach Cesare) Prandelli said it was a tough game."