Pride overwhelming emotion felt by coach

"We've gone out on our sword".

Pride was the overwhelming emotion Southern United head coach Kris Ridley felt after his team lost 2-0 to Auckland United in the National League final yesterday.

His side put up a gutsy fight against the Auckland side until the end.

"We got here — we’re so happy," Ridley told the Otago Daily Times in Auckland.

"As I’ve said earlier, we’re already happy with whatever happened ... but that doesn’t mean we’re just going to turn up to a grand final and not perform.

"We pushed. We made a couple of mistakes, and they countered.

"Their execution was better than ours."

Ridley was proud of the way Southern started the final, pressuring Auckland and working hard to create their chances.

"All season we’ve tried to press teams and just tried to keep the foot there and not let them out because we’ve got class-players, we’ve got really good attacking flair.

"We play an exciting game of football where we absolutely take risks all the time.

"We just like going for it and trying to score goals. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t."

Despite the result, it has been a standout season for Southern, a regional team, making their first national league final and standing up to the club teams, who play together all season, to win.

"Was the grand final a target?

"Probably not at the start because of everything that comes with being a regional side.

"But in saying that, after a few games, we had a sniff and we’re like if we’re beating these teams, we can get to the grand final.

"So that was the aim."