Blades boss Chris Wilder said his Sheffield players might have been expecting a roasting from him at the final whistle - but insisted that they did not deserve one following a performance he felt had merited far more.
Goals from Jason Cummings and Kieran Dowell helped Forest claw their way back from behind following John Lundstram's second-minute opener for the Blades.
And Wilder admitted: "I don't know whether to cry or smile, but I think I will go down the smiling route because it was confirmed today that my team has landed in the Championship, with the performance we produced.
"It was an outstanding performance, one that did not get rewarded with a win.
"But I am not going soft because we have won games this season and I want us to win games moving forward.
"Some of the boys might have expected a rocket today. They do not deserve a rocket.
"People will walk away from this game and see what we have done to Nottingham Forest. We have not married up a performance with a result. We made a couple of mistakes that were clinically punished.
"But we pushed them back, pushed them back and pushed them back. It was an outstanding performance against a good side."