EMOTIONAL boss Paul Warne said he felt for everyone connected with Rotherham United after the Millers suffered a cruel relegation on the final day of the Championship campaign.
His team were only minutes away from a famous victory at Cardiff City that would have kept them in the second tier despite all their Covid and injury problems this season.
But they conceded an 88th-minute equaliser and make an instant return to League One despite a brave fight to avoid the drop.
"I am really hollow," he said. "I just feel for the lads, my captain, the owner and the fans, everyone.
"My opinion - which is not always a popular one - is that we did more than enough to win the game. To concede so late on was an absolute solar-plexus blow.
"We have had more than enough chances to win two games today and maybe that is a microcosm of our season. We are well-organised, fit, determined and together - all those things - but we just lack a little bit of cutting edge in the final third.
"We had plenty of chances that we should have taken if we wanted to stay up. Without that second goal, there was always a chance that the opposition would peg us back."
Lewis Wing volleyed Rotherham into an eighth-minute lead but the visitors couldn't capitalise on all their other opportunities and the Bluebirds levelled two minutes from time.
"I am devastated for the lads because this should have been a great memory for them," Warne said. "I said to them this morning that they could remember this when they are 90. This could be a game and a memory, with the bus-trip home, that would burn into them forever. I feel for them, I really do.
"I have come out of the dressing room really quickly. I thanked them all for their efforts this season and it has been an honour to work with them. But I know that dressing room is not going to be the same next year, which is heartbreaking."