Ernie Merrick has taken a moment to reflect on a disheartening season, as Newcastle Jets prepare for their final two matches.
The A-League's always been a topsy-turvy world, but the stiffest sea-legs in the world couldn't prepare Newcastle fans for the run they've had.
From the wooden spoon in 2016/17 to the A-League Grand Final in 2017/18, to missing out on finals the year after. Even for the Hunter crowd that have seen it all, such a sudden rise and fall is hard to take.
"We have to learn from the mistakes we made this year and make sure we get it right and it's all my responsibility," Merrick said. "Nobody else's at the club.
"I think we've got more shots on goal than anyone in the league, so you know that the game plan's working, it's just the finishing that counts. So we're doing something right. I don't think there's a lot of change required, but certainly, there are little adjustments here.
"Sometimes you sign a new player to replace someone, sometimes they're better than the previous one, sometimes they're not as good. Usually, there's an issue regarding fitting into the team or injury or missing a preseason. There are just so many factors involved.
"Bottom line is I think we're well funded (but) for one reason or another it hasn't worked out for us. The bottom line is it's something I've got to fix."
Merrick hinted at the blow to Newcastle that signings made in the offseason like Brazillian striker Jair had underwhelmed, attempting to replace the likes of Andrew Nabbout.
"Recruiting is something you do 12 months of the year," Merrick said.
"We've got a pretty rock solid defence (and) the goalkeeping area. So it really is about that front third. So it might be either a striker, a winger or an attacking midfielder, or two.
"Specifically, what you're always trying to do is maximize the use of your budget. So if one player's extremely expensive, can you get two players less expensive and take a bit of a risk on them?
"I've been doing it for a long time. I'm reasonably good at it and all the final decisions come down to me when it's not a budgetary decision."
"So we're always looking at local talent and overseas talent. And it all depends on budgets, of course, in terms of where you want to strengthen for next season there."
It leaves the Scottish gaffer with a lot to mull over in the rapidly approaching off-season, but one bright spot is the Jets' youth, boasting three recently selected Olyroos.
Merrick says they'll get their chance in Saturday's match against Brisbane Roar.
"It will be a young team they'll be a few seniors who will get a bit of rest," he said.
"I'll save them for the last game against Sydney."