Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Mick McCarthy has refused to criticise his players after they fell to a disappointing 3-1 defeat at Portsmouth on Saturday afternoon.
Aruna Dindane opened the scoring for the hosts before Kevin Doyle equalised for the Molineux-based outfit.
But John Utaka's sharp response and Michael Brown's clincher ensured McCarthy would taste defeat on his final away trip of the campaign.
Following promotion from the Championship last term, the Midlands outfit have startled many by securing their Premier League status for another season after a rugged campaign back in the top-flight.
Despite the setback, McCarthy was happy to look at the bigger picture after the entertaining contest that he believed could have went either way.
Speaking to reporters, he said: "I think our performance was one below what we have been producing and I think I can forgive the players for a little bit of a dip having been tight for 36 games.
"We've been really solid and committed. We were committed today, but you only have to be a couple of per-cent down.
"But we could have won the game 7-5, it was just outrageous the chances we missed. That's been our downfall this season.
"I am not going to beat the players up now, we've been terrific this season. But we will want to finish on a high."