Fleetwood Town head coach Uwe Rosler praised the players, the club and the supporters for a “monumental effort” as his side fell at the final hurdle and missed out on a place in the League One Play-off Final.
Town could not find a way back from their 1-0 defeat at Valley Parade on Thursday as they were held to a goalless draw at Highbury, meaning Bradford will face Millwall at Wembley on Saturday week.
The community came out in their droves for Rosler’s men, with 5,000 packed in to support them .
However, the head coach admitted injuries to key players – like Devante Cole, Wes Burns and Cian Bolger, who missed the first leg but returned yesterday – hindered their efforts to clinch a historic first promotion to the second tier.
Rory McArdle’s header in the first leg was enough for Stuart McCall’s side to seal a date with the Lions, who beat Scunthorpe 3-2.
Rosler said: “I’ve been proud and very thankful to my players, to the club, to the supporters. A monumental effort this season.
“We played 58 games and the last two were probably two too many, especially in the play-offs where you face a real high quality and a real intensity.
“Going through Bradford City’s team, there was a lot of experience there and we lacked a little bit of energy.
“Unfortunately, in the last two months of the season we had too many injuries.
“Players were coming back not really 100 per cent fit, and when you throw them into that sort of scenario it is very hard to be immediately at your best.
“We lacked a bit of energy but it was a monumental effort in the end.
“Bradford City had been the better team, we accept that and we will be humble.
“We lost over two legs and we were a little bit second best on one set-piece. That shows that we gave everything.
“They have been better than us, we have to accept that, especially in their home game.
“In the second leg the emphasis was on us. We needed to create more but we did not have the energy to.
“Man for man I thought Bradford were better on the pitch, apart from Kyle Dempsey.
“I think that, especially in the first half, Kyle really stood up to the occasion.”