Bristol City manager Gary Johnson has admitted it may take his side a while to recover from the blow of missing out on promotion.
The Robins, who were promoted from League One last season, suffered a 1-0 defeat at Wembley on Saturday as Dean Windass struck the only goal of the Championship play-off final for Hull City.
And while Johnson is hopeful that the disappointment will prove to be a blessing in disguise, he is aware that he faces a tough task in picking up his players.
Johnson said: "I can see where people are coming from when they say that [promotion might have been premature], and maybe from that perspective, if there is anything positive we can take out of losing, it could be that.
"But we at this club feel that if you have the opportunity to go up and the opportunity to play at the highest level then you should try to take it, and that's what we tried to do.
"Unfortunately, we haven't been able to do that on this occasion and it will probably take us a while to get over this.
"I understand what people say about us not being ready to go up, and that is what I will be telling the players in about four weeks' time when they are getting over this.
"I can't tell them that now because they are obviously so upset and disappointed and nobody would listen to me."
Meanwhile, defender Bradley Orr, who was stretchered off following a clash of heads on Saturday, remained in Acton Hospital overnight after undergoing surgery on his depressed fractured cheekbone.