Scotland goalscorer Callum McGregor admitted the players were “shattered” by their Euro 2020 elimination at the hands of Croatia.
McGregor scored a superb first international goal to cancel out Nikola Vlasic’s opener.
But further goals from Luka Modric, with a brilliant outside-of-the-foot curler, and Ivan Perisic saw Croatia run out 3-1 winners at Hampden Park and leave Scotland bottom of Group D and out of the tournament.
McGregor told ITV4: “The lads are shattered, we put so much into it. Too much quality in the end – the second goal, that’s what we’re up against at this level.
“It was a proud moment to get my first goal but ultimately we’re disappointed. It gives you the hunger to try and get back here.
“The fans were first-class, we just want to thank them.”
Midfielder John McGinn wants Scotland to learn from the experience and targeted next year’s World Cup.
“Just devastated we’re not through,” McGinn said.
“We didn’t get off to best of starts in the group and tonight we came up against an excellent team with tournament experience. They’ve got one of the best players in the world in Luka Modric.
“We’ve got to use this experience to get to more tournaments. The World Cup is our aim now. We want this to be the start.
“We’re not used to this but we need to become a nation who are used to this.”
Skipper Andy Robertson admitted: “It’s a massive disappointment. Croatia showed why they got to a World Cup final.
“When we got them to 1-1 we had them for five minutes but half-time came at a bad time.
“Modric ran the game and scored a wonderful goal and that’s why we fell short. But we’ve felt the love from the whole country and we hope it continues.
“We’re one of the newbies to this, it’s been a long time coming and all of us will gain experience. We’ve all learned from this.
“We are a squad with a lot of potential and it’s important we build on this. We’re a good team on our day. We can’t go another 23 years.”
Manager Steve Clarke insisted he was proud of his side’s achievement in reaching the finals.
He told ITV 4: “I’m proud the players managed to get here, for the first time in 23 years.
“It was a team tournament hardened against a team in their first time in a tournament for a long time. We’ll learn from it for sure.
“Croatia are a top team and they showed that tonight. I think through the three games we’ve acquitted ourselves well and showed our qualities. And we can improve.
“It’s a young group of players and we want to improve together. We want to go again.”