Carlton Cole has told WHUTV that he had mixed emotions after scoring a superb header in Saturday's thrilling 3-2 Barclays Premier League defeat by Liverpool.
The 25-year-old was at his best, giving Reds central defenders Jamie Carragher and Martin Skrtel untold problems with his power and movement.
The England striker capped his display by glancing Mark Noble's left-wing corner past Pepe Reina to level the score at 2-2 moments before half-time, only for Fernando Torres to secure all three points for the visitors with his own header 15 minutes from time.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW COLE'S THOUGHTS ON ZAVON HINES' HOME DEBUT AND TUESDAY'S CARLING CUP MATCH WITH BOLTON
"I was disappointed that we didn't get the result," Cole told WHUTV. "It was a real improvement from the last game at Wigan when everyone wasn't quite on song. I thought we did really well to match them and it was just the finer details that killed us off.
"These things happen. I'm playing well against top-class defenders and that's the only bonus I can take out of this game."
Cole's frustration at seeing what was a good team performance count for nothing got the better of him in added time, when he was booked for dissent after disputing a decision made by referee Andre Marriner.
In a move typical of his friendly, approachable manner, Cole said 'Sorry' to the official for his outburst shortly after the final whistle, while also vowing to keep his mouth shut in future matches.
"You could see at the end that I got frustrated with the referee and I apologised to him. I can't really be doing that again because that yellow card he gave me might cost me later on in the season.
"Overall, I thought we played well as a team and came back from a one-goal deficit twice. I've got so much admiration for all our players at the moment and the spirit we've got at this club."
Cole went on to praise fellow south Londoner Zavon Hines, who produced an all-action display, winning a first-half penalty and forcing no fewer than three Liverpool players to commit fouls on them that led to bookings.