Stenhousemuir boss Brown Ferguson admitted that his side paid the price for their poor start to the season by being relegated.
The Warriors spent much of the campaign firefighting after a series of heavy defeats in the opening few weeks left them struggling.
But after hauling themselves off the foot with a game to go, it all ended in tears on Saturday as a 1-1 draw with Brechin - coupled with Peterhead’s win over Alloa - sent them down to League 2.
Ferguson, who insists he remains committed to the club, conceded: “Saturday didn’t relegate us.
“It was a one-off game where if we’d have won it we were safe.
“But it’s over the course of a season and when you look back the start of our season killed us.
“The first few weeks of the season were the catalyst for where we ultimately found ourselves.”
Despite going down Ferguson believes his side has improved over the course of the season and praised his players for their attitude.
He said: “The players have never given in at any point, even although throughout the season people have been saying ‘Stenhousemuir are away, Stenhousemuir are gone’.
“If you took that first quarter out of the season - the amount of goals we conceded and the points we picked up - and we still had one more quarter left in the season I’d be very comfortable that we would finish a lot higher up in the league.
“But that’s not the case. We now need to be ready to go into a new season as a club and make sure we’re in a position to have a strong team for the first game of the season.”
On his own position, the Warriors boss says he won’t be quitting and is already planning to build a squad he believes can bounce back at the first attempt and plans to speak to all his players over the next week or so.
He said: “I have no intention of stepping away from this club.
“There have been challenges and the biggest one was a year ago when we found out the position the club was in.
“But there was a commitment made to try and make sure the club was in a better position moving forward, by fans, by fans’ groups, the comunity side of things and the commercial side of things.
“My commitment is part of that. If I look back over my own couple of years’ experience of management there’s certainly things, if I had my chance again, I would have done slightly differently.
“You try to reflect back and think where it could have gone better and what you can try to do to improve it.
“The only thing we can now do is focus on next season, which is difficult because as a professional footballer, or as anybody, you don’t want to be the bottom of anything.
“Whatever you do in life you want to be successful and achieving things.”
“Over the past year there has been progress, albeit our first team’s league position isn’t where we want it to be.
“But I’ve got an appetite to do well for Stenhousemuir, not only for the backing they have shown me but also what they’re trying to do to get the club pointing in the right direction.”