Tony Capaldi admitted Oxford United’s players were almost thankful results elsewhere did not go their way in the race for the npower League Two play-offs on Saturday.
A draw for Crewe meant they were guaranteed to claim seventh, regardless of how the U’s got on at Port Vale.
Capaldi took some consolation from the fact that United’s 3-0 defeat did not cost them the chance of making the play-offs.
And he agreed with manager Chris Wilder’s assessment that the cause for the disappointing finish came from slip-ups in recent weeks.
He said: “In the end we’re slightly grateful Crewe ended up getting a draw – it would have been heartbreaking to lose and then find out Crewe had lost.
“Things that have happened before Saturday are what cost us the chance of making the play-offs, we’ve got the summer to think about it to get ready for next season.
“It’s been a despondent changing room for the last four or five weeks.”
While it was a disappointing game for the club, Capaldi took some personal satisfaction in ending an awful season on something of a high.
Back and knee injuries have kept the 30-year-old out since signing last summer, so to get through 90 minutes was a source of satisfaction.
He said: “It’s been 13 months since my last competitive game and I didn’t want it to be another three months over the summer, so I’m just pleased to get it out the way.
“It was nice to get out on the pitch and play, the body feels good which is the most important thing, I knew I was fit enough to get through 90 minutes.
“I’m pleased to get it out the way and I can work hard during the summer to get ready for next season.”