Phil Brown accepted full responsibility for Preston's relegation from the npower Championship following the 1-0 home defeat to Cardiff and vowed to make wholesale changes over the summer.
Peter Whittingham's sixth-minute strike from Craig Bellamy's low cross proved decisive as the famous old Lancashire outfit slid into their third tier of English football for the first time since 2000.
Brown said: "I've just been upstairs and nearly broken down in front of the supporters because I hold myself responsible for the relegation - end of story,"
He added: "You can say you came in too late or that the previous guy in charge was there too long, but I wouldn't have taken the job if I didn't think I could keep the club in the Championship.
"So I hold myself responsible for the relegation. If you look back, we didn't get our first win until too late and after that it was catch-up time. The luck that evaded us has evaded us again in this game."
Brown revealed he is already gearing up for life in League One and said as many as 12 out-of-contract players could go in a summer exodus.
He explained: "We've got big decisions to make and already we've signed around 10 to 12 younger pros who will probably go towards being the core of the squad next year." Cardiff boss Dave Jones just about managed to hide his frustration after Norwich's dramatic late winner kept Paul Lambert's side in second place - a point above the Bluebirds.
Jones said: "It doesn't matter what anybody else does because we've got no bearing on that.
"We've got to keep applying the pressure. If it's automatic or via the play-offs we've just got to keep going.
"Norwich kept going to the 95th minute and got the goal because they were probably a lot fresher as they had three or four days extra to recover, which is ridiculous."