Birmingham City manager Alex McLeish spoke of his pride at the way his team finished the campaign, but accepted the outcome had been settled over 38 games.
He said: "I'm very proud of the players' response to the situation today. They produced an outstanding performance. All they could do was win but results did not go for us elsewhere so we have missed out by one point.
"The players have punched above their weight many times this season and they did it again today. We've only lost one of 13 home games since I've been with the club but we just haven't won enough of them and that has cost us in the end.
"Also there have been other teams like Wigan Athletic and Bolton Wanderers who were underachieving earlier in the season, but a couple of new managers [in McLeish's predecessor, Steve Bruce and former West Bromwich Albion manager Gary Megson] have got them going.
"People ask if I could have kept us up had I been here for the whole season? But that is just conjecture. I now aim to bring in some more players. I've now got the chance to put my own stamp on the club."
Rovers boss Mark Hughes, meanwhile, was left to lament a number of lost opportunities as his side narrowly missed out on a place in European football next season.
Aston Villa only drawing 2-2 at West Ham United meant that Rovers could have gained entry via the Intertoto Cup had they won. He said: "We had an opportunity to get the job done today and we didn't, that's the galling thing. We are disappointed with that situation because we haven't taken the opportunity that presented itself.
"Obviously we needed to win the game to get into Europe, a draw really wasn't good enough for us so we had to throw on attack-minded players as substitutes and when you do that, sometimes you can get a little bit ragged and a little bit indisciplined and, as a consequence, you can get exposed and that is what happened to us in the end.
"Overall, though, the season has been very good and we'll look to build on it next year."