Blues' boss backs his side to come back stronger next season after losing out to Burton Albion
Phil Brown says his young side must learn from their play-off heartache and come back stronger next season – determined to win automatic promotion from League 2.
His side narrowly missed out on the play-off final, going down 3-2 on aggregate to Gary Rowett’s Burton Albion who will now face Fleetwood Town at Wembley.
Brown felt his side had just lacked a bit of luck, but urged them to hold their heads high and take this experience in their stride.
He said: “It was a cup tie atmosphere and the crowd were absolutely fantastic, but in the end we just didn’t do quite enough to get to Wembley.
“Last year, Burton Albion were in our shoes and this year, they are off to Wembley, one game away from League 2, so they’ve learned from their previous experience.
“We must wish them good luck at Wembley, but we can use their story as motivation for us to go and do exactly the same next season.
“We don’t want to be in the play-offs again next season, we want to go up automatically, that’s the aim right now, and we’ve got to work hard from this minute forwards.
“At 1-0 down on the day, it look tough, but we showed tremendous character to get ourselves back into the game and give ourselves a chance.
“But the second goal just seemed to knock us off course, and although we threw the kitchen sink at them we couldn’t get the goal we needed.”
Brown admits it was tough to console the players following the conclusion of the game, but will see them all on Tuesday as they prepare to go forward.
“It’s hard to console them because they’re down and we’re out of the play-offs and we’re not going to achieve what we set out to achieve.
“We will come back in on Tuesday, see what the players’ mentality is like. We want winners here next season, and we’ve got this experience under our belts now."