Tony Pulis insists he was proud of his Stoke players after their European adventure came to an end.
Stoke bowed out of the Europa League after losing the second leg 1-0 to Valencia, meaning they went out 2-0 on aggregate.
Pulis fielded a weakened side in Spain, making eight changes, but he was full of praise for his team.
"We had good chances in both games, but we lacked luck because we had some good opportunities," he said.
"These players have shown they have played good games, and I am proud of my players.
"Given the trajectory of this club in recent years, it has been fantastic to get here and play against a team of the quality and calibre of Valencia
"Our journey in this competition has been extraordinary, every player registered has played and it has been a great experience for us and our fans.
"The 13 games we have played in this competition have put us on the map."
Pulis was criticised in some quarters for his squad selection, leaving the likes of Peter Crouch, Jon Walters, Matthew Etherington and Ryan Shawcross behind and handing starts to Salif Diao and Diego Arismendi in midfield while Kenwyne Jones, Ricardo Fuller and Cameron Jerome formed a front three.
"The team I played today is the team that have played the majority of games in
Europe," said a defiant Potters boss.
"I don't know what all the fuss is about.
"But negative press sells better than positive press. We're disappointed because it's been such a positive run, such a great adventure for everyone at the football club."
Pulis, meanwhile, also felt aggrieved Arismendi was not awarded what looked a clear free-kick when he was sandwiched on the edge of the area. Valencia broke away and Pablo Hernandez set up Jonas for the game's only goal.
The Welshman said: "I'm disappointed we didn't get a penalty or a free-kick just outside the box, that looked absolutely nailed on, and then they go and score straight away. Those incidents cost us."