John Coleman sympathises with Danny and Nicky Cowley after Accrington end Portsmouth's promotion hopes
John Coleman admitted he had sympathy for Danny and Nicky Cowley after Accrington put paid to Pompey's Championship hopes.
The Blues went into the final game of the season knowing a victory would secure their place in the League One play-offs.
However, Pompey ended the campaign in eighth spot after slipping to an underwhelming 1-0 loss to Stanley courtesy of Adam Phillps' 23rd-minute goal.
Oxford took full advantage with a 4-0 win against Burton to leapfrog the Blues and claim the final berth in the top six.
Charlton also beat Hull 1-0 to go above Pompey in the standings.
Although Accy had already clinched a mid-table finish, they were determined to bow out on a high and ended the campaign in 11th.
But Coleman couldn't hide his disappointment for the Cowley brothers after they were unable to achieve their target clinching a play-off spot after taking over the helm from Kenny Jackett in March.
The Stanley boss told Sky Sports: ‘People thought we were going to come here and roll over.
‘I really feel for Danny and Nicky because you couldn't get two more passionate football men. They remind me of myself and Jimmy (Bell) when we first started out.
‘I really feel for them because I've been in the situation myself.
‘We didn't set out to ruin their day, we set out for our own pride and finish as high as we can.
‘After a shaky start, we dominated the first half and deservedly got the goal.
‘As we expected, Portsmouth came on strong in the second half and we struggled to get out of our half.
‘We'd like to play better than that and that disappointed me. Although I'm pleased with the result, I still feel we could have given a better showing and been more composed on the ball.
‘Going forward next season, that's what we've got to learn - not to give the ball away so cheaply when in the lead.
‘In the first half, we were bright and energetic. Adam scored a great goal and the other one we had disallowed was very marginally offside.
‘What I've said to the lads in there is they've run themselves into the ground this season and are an absolute pleasure to work with. I'll miss them for a few weeks because they're fun to be around.’