Amid the acute disappointment of missing out on the Barclays Premier League title on Sunday, Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard found reassurance in his belief that 'the dream is back'.
The No.8 was the creative force behind the Reds' comeback against Newcastle United, perfectly executing two second-half set-pieces to provide chances for Daniel Agger and Daniel Sturridge at the Kop end.
A 2-1 victory - the 16th in 19 home league fixtures this season - secured second place in the standings but table-toppers Manchester City completed their own mission and claimed the sought-after trophy.
Pausing midway through a thoroughly deserved lap of honour by the players post-match at Anfield, Gerrard acknowledged the hurt of not ending his long wait for the opportunity to hoist aloft the prize he wants most.
But the 33-year-old witnessed enough in a campaign that will be talked about for many years to come to express his confidence that a Premier League medal may eventually take pride of place in his collection.
The skipper told Liverpoolfc.com: "To come so close and then to fall away so late is difficult to take. But, on the other hand, I'm so proud of the lads and we achieved what we set out to achieve, weeks and weeks ago.
"It's not doom and gloom - Champions League football is back. It has taken me until 33 to get this experience of a proper title race. What this is going to do for this young squad is going to take them to the title.
"Whether it is next year or the year after, it will happen pretty soon - that's what I believe, because the talent in the squad is there.
"I thought my days of title races were gone, I have to honestly admit that I thought they were gone. But having played with this group of players this year, it's back - the dream is back.
"Although I've only got a couple of years left maybe, I still believe I can get there. I never give up a fight; I never thought I'd be able to say that I'm really confident and I believe that the title is not too far away here."
As Gerrard spoke, a matter of minutes after the final whistle had concluded nine months of drama, emotion and dynamic football, the fans inside the stadium bellowed their appreciation for the squad's exploits.
Glancing up at the stands, the midfielder - who contributed 13 strikes and 13 assists during the Reds' relentless challenge - reflected on the monumental help which cascades from the supporters to the pitch.
"It's mixed emotions at the moment because falling away and not delivering the title for this support hurts so much," he continued.
"I'm running out of words to describe the fans of the club - it just gets bigger and better every season I'm here. I'd have loved nothing better than to have delivered it.
"But we have to congratulate Manchester City. They have been the best over the 38 games and although it's difficult to take, we have to congratulate them."