Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough heaped praise on his team after watching them sign-off their League 1 season with a deserved 2-1 win over Coventry City.
The visitors took a first-half lead when Nathan Delfouneso pounced on John Fleck's pass but goals from Ryan Flynn and substitute Ben Davies ensured it was the Blades who claimed all three points to finish seventh in the table.
United were in the relegation zone when Clough took charge seven months ago and he said: "That was the way we wanted to finish and the lads deserved to get the ovation they did at the end.
"We've worked really hard and they've put so much in. Now we just want to have a break and then get back to it later this summer.
"We always felt it was important that we kept the momentum going. We wanted to go out with a win. That just keeps everyone nice and positive for the challenges ahead.
"There wasn't much in it in the first-half. They had a go and we had a go but neither of us could quite manage to get a grip until Coventry got the goal.
"It was a little nip and tuck but the pleasing thing for both of us is that, even though there was nothing on offer in terms of going up or staying up, the determination and application was there. I think the crowed appreciated that.
``Now we'll look forward to a little rest and then get ready to go again.``
Clough added: "The lads showed what they can do out there. They showed what they are all about and that's something we want to build on from now on.
"Obviously there might be a few coming in but we also want the group that we've got to keep on improving too. It's important that we keep that mentality going forward because that's what gets you to where you want to be."
Coventry boss Steven Pressley was also pleased with the application of his players.
``Sometimes when you come into the final game of the season when it's just pride to play for, it makes sometimes for a testimonial type game,`` Pressley, whose team began the campaign with a 10-point penalty, told the club's official website.
"But it was a really good game. I don't think we deserved to lose the game and the players' mind-set was excellent.
``For the goal it was a great pass from John Fleck and a composed finish from Nathan. I didn't think we ever looked really in danger. I have no complaints with the way my team went about it.
"We're relieved that the season is over, after so many challenges and it's been a season that has been exceptionally demanding for everyone involved in the football club, for the players, the staff and the fans.
``Prior to the game I wanted us to show our pride for our supporters because they've endured a lot this season. Their support has been brilliant throughout the season.
"They appreciate what we have had to come through and they should be proud in the way the club is going on the pitch, particularly with five academy players involved (against Sheffield United).
"Game by game they've grown, not just technically and tactically but the mental growth of the players. The last period of the season we had the pressure of relegation and in the end we've seen it through which is very pleasing."