Georginio Wijnaldum admits it will be a long time before he gets over the heartache of missing out on Euro 16 qualification with Holland.
The Newcastle United midfielder was left devastated after the Dutch lost 3-2 at home to Czech Republic on Tuesday night to end their hopes of playing in France next summer.
Wijnaldum, who played the full 90 minutes at Ajax’s Amsterdam Arena, must now pick himself up for the rest of the campaign and try to push Newcastle up the Premier League table.
But he says the summer will be difficult to stomach – especially when he sees his friends and foes from other countries in action.
“It will take some time before we are above this,” Wijnaldum said.
“If we look at the TV next year and see the European Championships, we get the kick again.
“But we are footballers, we must continue. Although this is very difficult now as it is going to take a while before we have processed this blow.”
Holland needed to win, and for Turkey to lose against Iceland, in order to finish third in Group A and secure a play-off place.
But their defeat against the 10-man Czechs, coupled with Turkey’s victory, meant a night of despair for Wijnaldum and Newcastle team-mate Vurnon Anita, who was an unused substitute.
And for the 23-year-old, who starred at last year’s World Cup when the Netherlands finished third, it is a blow not just for him, but for young players coming through in Holland.
“We certainly believed in a happy ending, but it was annoying that we had to depend on another match,” added Wijnaldum. “But we have not done what we needed to do.
“The World Cup last year has done a lot for the development of myself and Memphis Depay example. That we are going to miss.
“So the absence of the European Championship is a great loss for the players, but especially for the Netherlands as a whole.
“For right now after the elimination, to call what we do is not wise. Let us first analyse everything calmly and only then draw conclusions.”