Borussia Dortmund manager Edin Terzic said his side "feel empty" after their dreams of a first Bundesliga title in over a decade were dashed on the final day of the season, with rivals Bayern Munich securing an 11th straight championship.
Terzic had looked set to lead Dortmund to the title in his first full campaign in charge, but a draw at home to Mainz on the final day of the season allowed Bayern -- who claimed a last-gasp win over Cologne -- to claim win the Meisterschale once again.
"It's difficult to find the right words," Tezic told ESPN after the match. "We feel empty because we knew about the chance, you could feel the energy within the stadium and city. We all wanted it so hard. We were so close -- just one goal was missing, it was one goal in the other stadium that was missing, we knew we were 90 minutes away from lifting the trophy."
Dortmund were nine points off Bayern and in sixth when the league paused in November for the 2022 World Cup. However, Bayern have since battled mid-season turbulence and changed managers, with Julian Nagelsmann exiting in March and Tuchel taking charge.
Meanwhile, Terzic's side kept on Bayern's tail and eventually overtook them in the penultimate round of the campaign.
"This is the game we fell in love with as kids, sometimes it's hard to miss a penalty, to conceded two early goals and all of a sudden it feels so heavy, but we tried our best and unfortunately it wasn't enough," the Dortmund manager added.
"Before the game we've been 90 minutes away, and now again we are 34 match days away to try it again. And yeah, tomorrow we're going to start to try again."
Dortmund's star midfielder Jude Bellingham, who had played the most minutes for the side in the campaign, was left out of the starting lineup with a knee injury and played no part in the match.
"Jude was fighting every day to get back into the team. It was a tough decision," Terzic told a postmatch news conference.
"It was too tight. Hopefully he's going to recover as quick as possible. I can't answer this question now -- he didn't feel well this morning, he didn't feel well before the game -- he told us he didn't feel ready to start the game and if we needed him, we could put him on for a couple of minutes.
"Of course he's very sad and emotional like the others. He's one of the main reasons why we were in the situation today. I hope once again ... I'm quite sure he's a winner, and he'll win so many trophies in his career, and for that he needs to stay fit and healthy and recover as quick as possible."