Southampton’s defeat to Stoke City was a disappointing way to end the season, according to manager Claude Puel.
Peter Crouch’s second-half header earned the Potters all three points at St Mary’s, though Puel felt his men created enough chances to win the game.
“It’s a disappointment, of course,” started the Saints boss.
“It’s a picture, I think, of the season. There was quality and a good game with many opportunities but without scoring.
“This is difficult to take but I am pleased for my players who showed a good attitude and spirit to keep going.”
Despite the defeat to Stoke – which was Saints’ fourth game in eleven days – Puel was pleased to be able to confirm a fourth consecutive top eight finish for the club.
“We have played every three days to finish,” explained Puel.
“I think it’s a disappointment because we wanted to finish with a win at home for our fans, but I am proud of my players.
“It has been a difficult season with lots of games and competitions, but they have played strong and well in all training sessions and game, without maybe a good reward.”