Huddersfield manager Lee Clark declared his side's thrilling 4-2 penalty shoot-out win over Bournemouth that clinched a place in the npower League One play-off final felt better than anything he had achieved as a player.
Former Newcastle, Sunderland and Fulham midfielder Clark could not bear to watch as Antony Kay slammed home the winning spot-kick for Huddersfield after the scores had been locked at 3-3 on the night and 4-4 on aggregate at the end of extra time.
Clark, whose side booked a date at Old Trafford on May 29 against either MK Dons or Peterborough, who play on Thursday night, said: "I've had some magnificent nights in my career as a football player, but this tops it all."
He added: "As a player you just look after yourself as an individual, as a manager you're looking after so many and they've got to trust you.
"It looks like the players, by what they're doing, 27 games unbeaten now, trust what I'm doing. I'm immensely proud."
Bournemouth manager Lee Bradbury, installed as Eddie Howe's replacement in January, conceded the tumult of emotions had literally left him with a headache.
He said: "The way we twice came back and dug in makes me so proud of my players. It's a cruel way to go out, especially after such a great game.
"Both teams were out on their feet at the end. Someone's go to lose I suppose. It's hard to take for the boys.
"It's been an absolute emotional roller-coaster, I've got a headache and everything, but I'd like to say well done to Huddersfield, they're on a great run."
Cherries skipper Jason Pearce, who had played every minute of every league game for his side this season, was shown a straight red card for his two-footed lunge on Kilbane in the 112th minute. Bradbury added: "I haven't seen it again, but at the time I thought he got the ball, but I won't comment any more than that."
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