Ryan Mason conceded it is “disappointing” Tottenham will only play in the new Europa Conference League next season.
Spurs secured seventh place in the Premier League on Sunday with a 4-2 win over Leicester City, who agonisingly missed out on a top-four spot by one point.
Jamie Vardy put the Foxes ahead from the penalty spot, but Harry Kane – in what could prove to be his final game for the club amid rumours he wants to leave – pulled Spurs level before the interval with a goal that secured this season’s Golden Boot ahead of Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah.
Another Vardy spot-kick restored Leicester’s lead, but there was late heartache for the hosts as a Kasper Schmeichel own goal and two strikes from Gareth Bale sealed victory for Spurs.
The result meant Tottenham finished a point ahead of north London rivals Arsenal and will compete in the inaugural Europa Conference League – a competition designed to give clubs from countries that struggle to secure spots in the Champions League and Europa League a taste of European competition.
While interim manager Mason acknowledged it is important for Tottenham to have European football, he said the Europa Conference League is not where they want to be.