Martin Allen was proud of his youthful side despite seeing champions Gillingham end their season with a 3-2 defeat at Burton.
Boss Allen took the opportunity to blood half-a-dozen young players and saluted their performances, but Burton, who now face the lottery of the play-offs, had too much experience in key areas.
He said: "I'm disappointed we didn't win but I thought the players did fantastically well since we had six out there making their Football League debuts.
"I'm absolutely chuffed to bits with all the young lads and I thought the senior players who stayed in the team also did fantastically well.
"We saw all our qualities and spirit in abundance because even though we've gone down, we done with a hell of a fight.
"We played three at the back trying to win the game at the end and it showed the commitment, passion and togetherness which I think has been the secret to our success."