Conor O’Shea admits Harlequins were left to rue last week’s loss at home to Wasps as they went out of Europe despite a win in Castres.
Quins finished the pool stages on 18 points thanks to a thumping 47-19 win at the Stade Pierre Antoine, but finished third in their pool, level on points with Wasps.
Last week’s 23-3 home loss gave their Premiership rivals the edge in the head-to-head rankings, and Wasps’ late comeback against Leinster for a draw ensured they would finish in second place in the pool.
As a result, Quins cannot reach the quarter-finals, while Wasps are waiting on Sunday’s results.
However despite seeing their European hopes ended for this season, O’Shea believes his team will have taken a lot from the experience.
“We could only control what we could control today,” he said.
“You can’t rely on others and that’s the position we left ourselves in. I thought we played some pretty good rugby in difficult conditions.
“We lacked accuracy last week, despite all the chances we had. Not getting anything out of that game cost us, but Europe is all about learning and our young players have learned an unbelievable amount this season.
“We’ve gone out by inches, but that’s the European Cup for you. We’ll learn from it, but we’ll also use the hurt to drive us on for the remainder of the season.
“I’m very disappointed, but we fought tooth and nail to get to this stage, we’ve fought our way back into the Premiership, and I think anyone who has watched us over the last eight games has seen a team that is much more like itself.
“We have to give the month of February one heck of a rattle and see what we can get for the rest of the season, but we’ll learn and this sort of thing will drive us.
“We did what we needed to do today. We didn’t control anything else and, unfortunately, now I won’t really have any interest in watching anything.”