The Geordie admits the criticism has stung the players.
He told talkSPORT: "We have taken a lot of stick for that but we were there to be shot at, we were there in the final. We managed to get to three finals in four years, which shows we are doing something right.
"We want to get back to them occasions. It's been too long. Having had that spell of three [finals] in four years we want to be there again. Hopefully, it can be next year. We felt we had a good chance this year and it didn't work for us, for obvious reasons, but we'll go again next year."