Mignolet faces the music after gaffe costs Sunderland dear against West Brom
21:28 GMT, 25 November 2012
Simon Mignolet could have headed straight home on Saturday night, and plunged into the lonely, miserable world of the goalkeeper who has made the error which has cost his team victory.
But the Belgian keeper, Sunderland's saviour on so many occasion this season, did not want to hide.
He wanted to offer his apologies and thanks to fans and team-mates after the error which gifted Shane Long a goal and handed West Brom their fourth consecutive win for the first time in 32 years.
Gaffe: Shane Long took advantage of Simon Mignolet's error to score
Mignolet was immediately inconsolable after spilling a mis-hit through ball from Chris Brunt in the last minute of the first-half and Long pounced to tap home.
He was still cursing himself at half-time and the final whistle, when he was applauded and serenaded by the few fans who had stayed for the duration of the 4-2 defeat.
Mignolet made one stunning save later to deny Long. But the damage was done. He got a hand to Zoltan Gera's strike and was helpless to stop Marc-Antoine Fortune's lovely, late finish and a penalty from Romelu Lukaku.
Martin O'Neill's No 1, who also took to Twitter to apologise, made himself for interviews in the tunnel.
And he said: 'First of all I have to thank the fans for the reaction around the stadium afterwards.
Error: Mignolet had been in fine form for Sunderland this season
'There are two things that can happen when you do things like that: The players, fans, can get behind you because they know what you have done for them in the past or they can get on your back. What happened was that they all got behind me.
'I really appreciate it and I thank them all for that. There's another game on Tuesday and that's what a goalkeeper's life is. You are only as good a goalkeeper as the last game you play.
'It doesn't stop the bleeding, no matter how I have done in the past. It is probably the worst mistake I will make. I have never made a big mistake like that before.
'You don't want things like that to happen. You know it can happen. But you can't do any more about it. You learn from it.
'I can't even say anything about it. That's what football is. Anything can happen in a split second. What happened is the question that will be in my head, spinning round. But I can't dwell on it.
Gutted: Sunderland slumped to another defeat at the weekend
'I was pleased with how the second half went. I didn't lose my confidence which is more important than what happened in the first half. There's plenty big games this year still to play.'
Sunderland have rubbished rumours that O'Neill offered to quit on Saturday night.
But they have now won just three Premier League games in 26, and they were all against 10 men. And his side are Harry Redknapp's first opponents as QPR boss on Tuesday night.