ARBROATH player/boss Paul Sheerin has admitted he was desperate to avoid relegation to repay the fans who have backed the team brilliantly this season.
But Sheerin has vowed to rebuild the squad and come back stronger next term as they look to bounce straight back up to League One at the first attempt.
He told HeraldSport: “Saturday was extremely disappointing for everyone. The fans were brilliant, as they have been all season, and we would have loved to stayed up for them.
“I don’t think we did enough on the day to get something out of the game. We huffed and puffed but our final ball was disappointing at times.
“I can’t fault the players for their attitude and work ethic and there was a willingness.
“We will want to keep certain players and we hope they will commit and show loyalty to the club as the club has shown loyalty towards them.
“Fingers crossed that happens and they can help right the wrongs of this season.
“I feel for the fans who were outstanding. Even when we did go down, they stayed behind and showed their appreciation for the boys’ effort.
“It won’t be easy but bouncing straight back has to be the ambition for next season.”
Meanwhile, midfielder Bobby Linn, his side’s top performer at the weekend, could not contain his disappointment as he faces next season in League Two.
He said: “Everybody’s feeling low and the dressing room after the game was quiet, but we’ve not done enough over the course of this season to stay in the division.
“It’s not a nice feeling. This is the first time that I’ve been relegated and we will have to learn from it.
“I’m sure the manager and the boys that will be here next season will be champing at the bit to get going again.
“Personally, I don’t think we deserved to go down. But when you look at the table, we’re the team that is down.
“I think we have some good players in the dressing room. It’s just not worked out this season for whatever reason.
“The fans continued to back us. They are a credit to the club and we must thank them for backing us.
“Hopefully, they will come back again and not lose faith because we will be raring to go next season.”