David Sharpe admits Wigan Athletic had left themselves ‘too much to do’ by the time Graham Barrow became the third manager of the campaign.
Barrow was given interim charge in March after both Gary Caldwell and Warren Joyce had been dismissed for failing to produce the results required.
Although back-to-back home wins over Rotherham and Barnsley briefly promised the greatest of all Great Escapes, it was only a false dawn.
And an immediate to League One was confirmed on Saturday, with Latics losing at Reading and relegation rivals Birmingham and Blackburn seeing off Huddersfield and Aston Villa respectively.
“Would like to thank Graham for taking the team at such a difficult time,” acknowledged Sharpe via his Twitter account. “The team has responded to him.
“But we just had too much to do.
“Today and this year has hurt me personally as much as it’s hurt all you supporters.
“It’s one we have to bounce back from, but also learn from.
“Tomorrow is a fresh start, and all my focus is on making sure we have the right man to take us and these players in the right direction.”
Wigan’s cause wasn’t helped by the 10th-minute incident that saw Wales international midfielder Shaun MacDonald stretchered from the field with a broken tibia and fibula.
“It was horrible to see what happened with Shaun,” recognised Sharpe.
“The type of guy he is, he will be back stronger!
“We are all with you Shaun!”