THE SYDNEY Swans simply didn't have enough contributors in the Grand Final loss to the Western Bulldogs, said their despondent coach John Longmire.
Although Longmire was quick to heap praise on the new premier, he was left to a lament a performance that fell short of the Swans' previous two finals.
The coach was quietly spoken in his post-match press conference - often talking at barely more than a whisper - and said injuries to Lance Franklin (ankle in the opening minutes) and Dan Hannebery (knee) was no excuse.
Nor did he bite when asked about the umpires, either on the 20-8 free kick count against his men, or Easton Wood's slide that took Hannebery's legs out and left him with a medial ligament injury.
Instead, Longmire focused on what his team could control, their own performance.
"We think we needed to work a little harder, a little bit more consistently over the four quarters," he said.
"We weren't quite up to the work-rate we normally get from our group and the Bulldogs consistency over their 22 versus ours (was too good).
"We didn't have as many contributors on the day, and you need to have that if you're going to be victorious.
"We thought we could get a bit more from a few more.
"In the end you need everyone with their shoulder to the grindstone, and we didn't have that even contribution we definitely needed."
Longmire said there was no difference between this loss and the 2014 loss to Hawthorn, saying "they all hurt".
Despite his sombre nature, the coach said it was important to keep things in perspective, pointing to the journey of young defender Aliir Aliir who missed the match with a knee injury.
"Aliir's taught a few of us, including the coach, about resilience."
Longmire would not be drawn on the future of out-of-contract midfielder Tom Mitchell or that of small forward Ben McGlynn.
"We've got to get through tonight before we worry about that," he said.
But Longmire was considerably more upbeat by the time it came to face the Swans faithful at a post-match function at Crown Palladium.
"We're absolutely thrilled with what we were able to deliver for most of the year as far as our competitive performances on a week-in, week-out basis, and our leaders and our senior players were absolutely sensational. Our younger kids came on in leaps and bounds, and brought some fresh air into the place," he said.
Longmire finished by thanking the Swans supporters, clearly appreciative of the vast number who showed up to the function despite the loss.
"We were unfortunate we didn't bring the cup here tonight, it's down the road at the Western Bulldogs, but we really appreciate the support we get from this great crowd, and these great supporters, and I'd like to thank everyone for coming, everyone for supporting, and screaming their heads off for the red and white.
"We're looking forward to spending some quality time with our families over the next few weeks, but I can guarantee that at eight o'clock on Monday morning, we're going back to work to get better and get a step ahead."