Notts County manager Kevin Nolan admitted he was disappointed with his side's performance at Grimsby, but acknowledged their efforts over the course of the season.
The Magpies' automatic promotion hopes came to an end when they were beaten 2-1 at Blundell Park, with Wycombe securing third place.
And the boss conceded that his side probably didn't deserve to win the game.
"We huffed and puffed all day but didn't really put them under enough pressure," said Nolan. "We didn't use our game plan effectively enough and deserved what we got.
"But I've been proud of the players all season long - they've been fantastic.
"It would have been lovely going into the last game of the season with half a chance of being promoted, but we've had a fantastic 17 months."
The Magpies face Luton Town in the last game of the regular season next weekend before their play-off campaign begins.
"I'm looking forward to them now," said Nolan. "I've been involved in two play-offs and I've won them both. It's a great way to go up, it's a great occasion, but we've still got a massive job to do.
"We've got three big and tough games coming up now, whoever we meet in the play-offs. Our lads will be up for it and we're going to have a right good go at it.
"Hopefully over the two legs we will be the better team and see ourselves at Wembley."