Malky Mackay believed his Cardiff players will ultimately benefit from their Carling Cup final heartbreak.
The sixth-placed Championship club suffered a cruel penalty shoot-out defeat to Liverpool at Wembley on Sunday after drawing 2-2 with the Premier League heavyweights after extra time.
Losing on spot-kicks, with Steven Gerrard's cousin, Anthony, missing the decisive effort, was a devastating blow for the Bluebirds.
But manager Mackay told Sky Sports of his players: "They are obviously all disappointed.
"There is a way to lose. You lose with dignity and they have lost with dignity today.
"There is a learning curve and you have experiences in your life. Whatever does not kill you makes you stronger.
"There is going to be a lot of stronger boys in there leading on after that, the way they played, the way they competed against one of the top teams in Britain."
Mackay's attention will now turn to earning promotion to the Premier League, where Cardiff would renew their rivalry with Liverpool.
"We have got 14 league games to go now," he said. "We are in the play-off places. We are up there in the mix at the moment and the group of players have been competitive all season.
"They have been fantastic. I am so proud of them."
Who was the man of the match in the Carling Cup final?