Sheffield United striker Richard Cresswell has praised the response from boss Danny Wilson and the club to setbacks this season.
The Blades appeared on course to bounce straight back to the Championship during the run-in, but lost 35-goal striker Ched Evans, who was jailed for five years after being found guilty of rape, were pipped to automatic promotion by city rivals Sheffield Wednesday and lost out 8-7 to Huddersfield when last weekend's goalless play-off final was settled by an agonising penalty shootout.
Cresswell said: "We've had a lot chucked at us in the last couple of months in particular and I think we've handled it really well.
"But it has been tough, I'm not going to lie. A lot's been said and a lot's been done, but the lads have been fantastic and the staff and the gaffer are a credit to themselves. I just enjoy playing for him.
"We've been really good this season. We got 90 points and scored over 90 goals and for it to come down to just one kick of the ball is hard to take.
"But we've got to get ourselves together and reflect on what has been a very good season and hopefully it will put us in good stead for success next season. For everyone involved in the club, the staff, the players, the fans, they've been fantastic all year."