Richard Cockerill insists European silverware will be no consolation for Edinburgh blowing the chance to get their hands on Guinness PRO14 gold.
The capital outfit looked set to reach their first-ever play-off final after opening up a 19-7 lead against Ulster with just 23 minutes left at Murrayfield.
But Cockerill’s side crumbled under the pressure of two late line-out drives to allow their Belfast opponents to level.
And instead of extra-time, there was only heartache at the death for the Scots as Ian Madigan nailed the winning penalty with the last kick of the game after Edinburgh prop Mike Willemse blundered with a knock-on.
Ulster now move on to face Leinster in next Saturday’s Dublin showdown while Cockerill’s team still have a Challenge Cup quarter-final against Bordeaux to prepare for later this month.
But the Englishman said: “That’s no consolation because we should be taking the opportunity here.
“I’m not going to make any excuses for myself because it is my fault, it starts with me, and the players are going to be held accountable next week.
“We’re not going to change 45 players, they will only change the coach.
“We just have to dust ourselves off – we’ve got a couple of weeks prep to go to Bordeaux, so we just need to get better with the players we’ve got.”
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now