Burton Albion have been relegated to League One after a heartbreaking last minute defeat to Preston North End.
However, despite the cruel nature of defeat, Burton boss Nigel Clough admits that his side haven’t been good enough over the course of the season to stay in the division.
Burton had gone a goal behind at Deepdale through Callum Robinson’s first half strike.
Hope Akpan drew Albion back level in the 63rd minute, and with results favouring the Brewers, it seemed as if the great escape was on.
But with Burton committing men forward in the latter stages, Preston hit their visitors on the counter attack and stole all three points at the death through Louis Moult.
It’s a result which ends Burton’s two year stay in the second tier.
Speaking to the club website, Nigel Clough said “We were minutes away from keeping the dream going. To lose in those circumstances when you think you are safe is extremely cruel.
“It’s not over the course of today but over 46 games and 41 points wasn’t good enough.
“We are devastated for ourselves but the fans as well who came in such numbers and we couldn’t send them back down the M6 ecstatic today, which they would have been and were with a few minutes to go.”
Preston were reduced to ten men when Billy Bodin was shown a second yellow card for simulation, and it looked as if Burton would be the ones to snatch a winner.
“Preston going down to 10 men helped us and we gained the upper hand but we had had situations in the first half.” Clough added.
“It was disappointing to concede that second goal. There was still five minutes to go and there was no need to do the things we were doing – just play properly and that’s where your goals come from.”
Burton will be playing in League One next year, but Clough will be hoping to mastermind an instant return to the Championship.