Ian Evatt is determined to lead Wanderers to another promotion challenge next season after seeing the Whites play-off bid come up just short.
Evatt’s men missed out on a place at Wembley and the chance to secure a second promotion in three years thanks to a 1-0 loss at Barnsley in the second leg of their play-off semi-final.
That earned the Tykes a shoot-out with South Yorkshire neighbours Sheffield Wednesday courtesy of a 2-1 aggregate win.
But after a season which brought Wanderers a fifth-placed finish in League One and the Papa Johns Trophy, Evatt is hungry to come back for more.
“I’ve just said to the players that I’m immensely proud of them and I’m immensely proud of our fans,” said the Wanderers’ boss.
“They’ve been brilliant tonight and brilliant all season. This club is moving in the right direction again. We’re proud of what we’re doing and we’re making progress.
“We know there’s going to be huge expectation next season but we want to rise to that, and now the hard work starts to be even better next season.
“It’s just made me hungry for more and I wish we could start again tomorrow. But we’ll take the summer to improve all aspects of the football club. That’s been our aim since I’ve been here and we’ll continue to do that.
“The Board have given me nothing but support and backing and that will continue again next season and we’ll go on this journey again together. I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason – and perhaps this has happened for a reason and we’ll go again next season.
“I want to get this club back where it belongs. I want to be the man to do it. I believe I’m the man to do it and we’ll leave no stone unturned the entire summer to make sure next season we improve again on this one.
“We are going to do all we can to come back and make sure we’re challenging not just the play-offs, but the top two next season.”
Wanderers had spells on top at Oakwell but couldn’t turn those into goals as Liam Kitching’s first-half header proved the difference.
And Evatt admitted Wanderers’ lack of goals over the campaign had ultimately proved costly.
“It’s hard to take,” Evatt added. “We’re all really disappointed. I think we’re more disappointed we didn’t really get to our level in the last two games.
“We started the better team, had the ball and quietened the crowd down – everything we spoke about doing – and the goal came out the blue, really.
“It’s definitely not a foul (in the build-up) and the second phase set play we concede from and it rocked us a little bit.
“It took us a while to find our stride again but that came at the start of the second half. We came out and had the better of it again but didn’t penetrate well enough and didn’t have enough cutting edge and that’s really been the story of the season.
“We haven’t scored enough goals. That’s not down to the strikers. That’s down to the entire team.”