Nottingham Forest boss Billy Davies felt the occasion got to his young players after watching his side's promotion dream end with a 4-3 home defeat to Blackpool in the Championship play-off semi-final second leg.
The Reds had to overturn a 2-1 deficit from the first leg at Bloomfield Road and twice led through Robert Earnshaw goals.
"In big games you have to be confident enough to get on the ball and show composure and bravery and an arrogance second to none, but we didn't do that," said Davies.
"Credit to Blackpool, they handled it better than we did. We had too many players freeze on the night.
"These young players froze on the night. Young players that have been outstanding all season and who did great to finish third - it was just too much. It would have been the youngest team to ever get to the Premier League - that would have been an achievement."