Rotherham United boss Mark Robins accepted that relegation had been on the cards for a while after a 1-0 defeat by Carlisle United condemned the Millers to life in League Two.
A ten-point deduction for going into administration proved crucial for Robins' side, who failed to stave off the threat of relegation.
He told the club's official website: "The relegation has been coming, but to lose today was a travesty. I thought we could have won this game three times over.
"The ten-point deduction was a massive blow to start with, we overcame that and then results started to go wrong and we found ourselves in a dire position.
"All credit to the lads, over the last ten games they have battled and they have worked hard.
"There are three games left before the end of the season and with the pressure off now, we have to close out the season.
"It is going to be a big re-building job and we are going to need a little bit of luck on the way. Plans are in place to keep players here."