Duncan Ferguson believes Everton can build on the team spirit they have showed in the past three matches but admitted Wednesday's penalty heartache against Leicester City left him "devastated for the fans".
Seeking a place in the Carabao Cup semi-finals, the Blues trailed 2-0 at the break but fought back to level thanks to a Tom Davies volley and sublime injury-time effort from Leighton Baines.
That forced penalties but, despite Jordan Pickford saving the opening spot-kick from James Maddison, the visitors progressed with a 4-2 shootout victory.
Before Wednesday, Ferguson had overseen a 3-1 home win over Chelsea and battling 1-1 draw at Manchester United since taking temporary charge of an Everton side depleted by injury and illness.
However, in assessing the progress his side has made, the Scot said missing the chance to reach the last four of a cup competition had been a tough pill to swallow.
"I'm devastated for the fans not to get them a semi-final," said Ferguson. "It's so tough not to get over the line.
"There's a lot of disappointed players in the dressing room, a few tears. We need to take momentum from this but it's hard to take.
"We've got great team spirit now and I think it's something to build on.
This video is for Season Ticket Holders and Official Members
This video is available for free to Digital Members
Free Digital Membership will provide you with the best possible experience when logged into the website, including access to the latest digital content.
Digital members will receive a monthly newsletter and get access to exclusive videos and regular member competitions offering money can’t buy prizes.
Your Digital account will also enable you to buy any tickets on general sale, and if you’re an Official member or Season Ticket Holder, the same login will allow you to access and manage your ticketing account.
To view this content you need to be a Season Ticket Holder or Official Member.
FERGUSON PROUD OF EVERTON'S SPIRIT
"We've got a massive game on Saturday [against Arsenal] and we need to be up for it.
"I'm proud of the work I've done but more proud of the players. They've given me every ounce of energy and I'd like to thank them for that."
One of the players missing to Ferguson against the Foxes was Lucas Digne, Everton's reigning player of the season.
The left-back had been injured after 25 minutes at Old Trafford on Sunday and replaced by Baines.
And it was the veteran, Baines, who gave Everton hope against Brendan Rodgers' men, strolling forward with 91 minutes on the clock and rolling back the years to unleash an unstoppable shot that flew past Kasper Schmeichel to spark wild celebrations at Goodison.
Ferguson had earlier amended his side's shape at the interval, sending on Moise Kean for Bernard, and the caretaker boss was pleased with side's second-half improvement.
"Leighton was unbelievable tonight," said Ferguson. "What choice we've got [at left-back].
"But the players are gutted, I'm gutted.
"The second half was much better. We were too passive in the first half.
"We were picking virtually the same team as Man United, which is not easy for the lads.
"We changed the shape after the break, which put more pressure on the ball and gave us belief.
"We just came up short in the end."