Hull City manager Steve Bruce feels his side can have no excuses following their relegation from the Premier League on Sunday.
Bruce’s men were held to a goalless draw by Manchester United, who saw Marouane Fellaini dismissed in the closing stages at the KC Stadium.
Yet even a win would ultimately not have been enough for Hull as Newcastle United claimed a 2-0 home victory over West Ham in their final match.
Twelve months on from playing in the FA Cup final, Hull will now return to the Championship after two seasons in the top flight.
A downbeat Bruce refused to make excuses, telling television reporters: “We all have to take the brunt of it, we have not been good enough.
“I thought at the start of the season we would have enough to stay in the Premier League but we have not done enough.
“You are desperately disappointed with what has happened. It is an awful experience, and it will dawn on the players we are not in the Premier League anymore.”
Asked whether he wanted to lead Hull’s bid to return to the top flight, Bruce replied: “That’s not for me [to comment on], that’s for others to decide that.
“There’s obviously a lot of talking and soul-searching to be done. It is bitter and sad at the moment. It’s an awful, awful experience.”
Despite his own disappointment, a magnanimous Bruce did take the opportunity to congratulate the teams who survived at Hull’s expense – highlighting the late-season revival of Leicester City as particularly impressive.
Hull captain Michael Dawson, meanwhile, was quoted by BBC Sport as saying: “It was not today that relegated us, we had 38 chances to do it.
“When I signed [from Tottenham last August], I was not expecting this. It is hard to take. It is going to be a hard summer.”