John Mulvihill has been proud of his side’s character throughout the season, but believes they need to be more clinical if they are to improve their standing next season.
Cardiff Blues suffered a heart-breaking defeat to Ospreys at Judgement Day, with Allan Clarke’s securing fourth place to keep their hopes of qualifying for next season’s Heineken Champions Cup alive.
Reflecting on his first campaign at the Welsh capital, the Australian insists his side have shown they can compete with the very best of European rugby, but was left disappointed by the form towards the end of the campaign.
“My message to our boys is that we have to be more clinical throughout the season,” said the head coach.
“We’ve lost a few games by very little points but what I like about this group is that we’ll always put ourselves into the contest, and that’s all our fans can ask, but we need to be able to finish teams off.
“We’ve had some highs and lows throughout the campaign. The highs have been massive, but we’ve had a fair few lows.
“I’m disappointed with the way we finished off as our intention has always been to improve from what we achieved last season.
“Disappointingly, we set ourselves a target of finishing as the best Welsh region but Ospreys have had a really strong finish to the season and have come up trumps there.
“We can compete with anyone, and have shown that in parts against big teams like Saracens, Glasgow Warriors and beating Lyon twice, who have a massive budget.
“It’s not always about having that, it’s about what you turn up and do on the day.
“Against the bigger teams we’ve been good this year, but it can take a toll on you, and probably took a toll on the depth of our squad at times.”
Mulvihill remained optimistic with the performance during the majority of the encounter against Ospreys.
He added: “It’s been a busy day for everyone involved, and I thought we definitely came here to play but we came up just a little bit short.
“I came into today thinking there was no way we were going to lose, and we started really positive before they came back in front.
“I did think we were in control of the game, bar a small amount of the game where we were coming out of our exits.
“Even in the last few minutes, when we were behind, I thought we could’ve got the ball back and use it, but we didn’t get there.”