Darren Ferguson declared it one game too many as Doncaster Rovers battled out a lacklustre goalless draw with AFC Wimbledon.
Rovers failed to score for the fourth consecutive match and had few chances in a poor contest where Wimbledon secured the point they needed for League One survival.
And Ferguson felt the performance from some of his players told the tale of a long, hard season.
“Tonight was simply one game too many,” Ferguson said.
“There was energy from some but it was a jaded performance from some of our better players like John Marquis.
“They’ve given me everything.
“We’ve come up from League Two. The difference between the two divisions is a fair amount.
“We’ve had to deal with an incredible amount of injuries and I think the players have shown over ten months that they’ve given everything for the cause.
“Whatever people may think, it’s been a solid enough season.
“Of course we wanted to finish higher. Hopefully we can improve next season.”
Rovers have one game left to play as they host on Saturday a Wigan Athletic side who need a victory to make sure of the League One title.
Ferguson is confident he can put together a side that will compete in the game and have enough energy to do so.
“I will freshen it up,” Ferguson said.
“People like John in particular, Matty Blair kept going even though he was feeling cramp and Jordan Houghton looked a bit leggy.
“Saturday is another game. We won’t do a lot with them on the training ground and it’ll be a case of freshening them up.
“I will try as best I can to get a bit of freshness into the team. I can certainly do that.
“Whatever the game is, I will always try to play the best team possible.
“Tonight I had no choice but to not play James Coppinger. There was no way I was going to risk him.”
Coppinger ‘felt a niggle’ according to Ferguson and sat out the game entirely for the second straight fixture.