DESPITE Brian Jensen’s heroics in goal, Burnley were unable to keep their play-off hopes alive at Leeds on Saturday.
And Jensen is hugely frustrated to see dreams of an instant return to the Premier League go up in smoke.
The Clarets were fancied by many for promotion having kept the core of their top-flight squad together, but despite a late rally, they were unable to break into the top six for the first time since November.
Jensen started and finished the season in the side, but had a watching brief from October to April as Lee Grant took over the jersey.
However, he did his utmost at Elland Road to keep Burnley in the game, making superb saves from Billy Paynter, Ross McCormack and Jonny Howson in an excellent display.
McCormack’s first half strike proved enough to hand Leeds the points though, and all but hand Nottingham Forest sixth place.
Jensen looked back on the season: “We are a little frustrated and a little bit disappointed.
“We have let expectations down a little bit.
“We were one of the favourites to go straight back up again but it shows you what a good league it is and that there are no easy games.
“Unfortunately it wasn’t (to be) this year.”
And he had no complaints as Leeds leapfrogged the Clarets with the win: “We’re very disappointed. They were better than us to be perfectly honest.
“We know what a good footballing team we are.
“Teams know that and we will hurt them if they let us play. They (Leeds) didn’t do that and it paid off in the end.”
A first clean sheet in 12 games proved beyond the side despite Jensen’s fine form, and he added: “It’s irritating when you pull off saves like that.
“That’s what I’m there for. Unfortunately I couldn’t keep the clean sheet.”
He is expected to keep the gloves for Saturday’s final game at home to Cardiff, who remain in the hunt for automatic promotion.
And Jensen is eager to sign off with a flourish to send the supporters away in a positive frame of mind: “We want to finish on a high, especially for the fans for coming out to support us.
“We are disappointed but we have to take that on the chin, put it aside and look forward to next season.”
Martin Paterson could be involved on Saturday, having played and scored in the reserves against Preston on Wednesday.
He travelled with the squad to Leeds, without making the 18, and boss Eddie Howe said: “He has worked extremely hard to get himself back fit.
“He played 60 minutes in the reserves and it was a really positive step for him to come through that.
“But you just have to think back to Chris McCann, he had four games in the reserves and Martin has had just one.
“And with the type of injuries he’s had as well, I have said before, we don’t want to push him too early and there be an opportunity that he might break down again.
“We just want to look after him, we would love Martin to be back involved with us, but he has to be fit and he has to be confident with it himself to know that he isn’t going to break down.”