Burton Albion manager Gary Rowett is hoping his players will be better for the experience next season after losing 1-0 to Fleetwood Town in the League Two play-off final.
Antoni Sarcevic's free-kick 15 minutes from time, which was misjudged by Burton keeper Dean Lyness, sent Fleetwood into League One following a sixth promotion in 10 seasons.
Rowett, whose side had finished sixth in the table, was left to reflect on the narrow defeat and wants to use it as a spur for next season.
He told Sky Sports: "It was a cruel way to lose a game of football. There was always going to be one mistake in the game and unfortunately we made it.
"But I've said to the players you have got two choices in life, you either sit back and sulk or you use it positively. We used it last year to come back stronger and we did and reached the final, but we could not go that extra yard.
"We've got to use it next year, and when that hurt dissipates over the next few days, the players have got to have a bit of resolve and come back stronger next season.
"It's a cruel place to lose, but nevertheless I would have rather lost here than in the semi-final."
Rowett also had some consoling words for despondent keeper Lyness, whose second-half mistake proved crucial.
"He will be hurting, but his handling has been terrific since he has come back into the side.
"I think he probably saw (Nathan) Pond in the corner of his eye and thought he would have to come and deal with him and took his eye off the ball.
"But he will know if he had stood still and caught the ball it would have been fine."