Chris Wilder insisted the season has been a success for Sheffield United after they finished ninth following a 3-1 loss to Southampton.
The Blades have impressed on their return to the top flight, and were in contention for Europe until the final few games of the season.
Wilder constantly denied that was on their minds, and was subsequently satisfied with just a top half finish. However, he wishes they had ended the season with a win.
“We should have been comfortably up in the game but we have missed some golden chances,” he told BBC Sport. “They were ruthless in our box and we weren’t in theirs.
“In the last 25 minutes, they were comfortably the better side but the game should have been out of sight.
“We have lost a game of football and that is the feeling I have. We have to up our game in the summer and we had run our race. It looked like a second half too far for the players.
“We have finished ninth against some really good teams which we can proud of but we wanted to finish on a high.
“We have to recruit right and we have to invest, there will be some players that are going and they will all have to raise their levels again. First season back in the Premier League for a long time and our long suffering supporters would have enjoyed it.
“Southampton have finished below us and they have some fantastic footballers which shows how tough a challenge it is.”