Burnley manager Sean Dyche has claimed that his side's efforts in the second half of the season took their toll on their performance in their 2-0 defeat to Everton at Goodison Park on Friday night.
An own-goal from Ben Mee and a header from Séamus Coleman gave the Toffees an excellent start to the game from which Burnley could not recover.
Speaking after the game to Sky Sports, Dyche claimed that the amount of work Burnley have put in during the second half of the campaign eventually caught up with his side against Everton.
"We've climbed a mountain in the second half of the season. Twenty-eight points is an incredible return with the goals we've scored.
"There's a release moment and I was wondering about that but like I say, they are human beings and I'm never going to fault them for that."
The 47-year-old said that the Clarets were too passive in their approach in the first half of the game but was pleased that his side delivered an improved performance in the second.
"From our point of view it is a game of two halves. We started, not a million miles off it, but not in the detail you need, and were a bit subservient and on the back foot.
"We go in licking our wounds a bit at half-time but there was a good reaction in the second half, without really opening them up with enough detail.
"I can't fault the players for the first-half performance too much really because the return of points, the return of goals, the way we've gone about it, we gone to places like this [Goodison Park] and gone with two up front to take that chance."
Dyche finished by adding that he was pleased with how his side responded after a poor run of form earlier in the season, taking pride in the fact that Burnley have done enough to successfully avoid relegation.
"We've tried not to be cagey, we've tried to win games, of which we have won enough, obviously. We keep learning, we keep looking for improvement and it's tough but we've got the job done and full credit to the players because it has been a massive turnaround and that's not easy," he added.
The defeat leaves Burnley in 15th place in the Premier League table. The Clarets host Arsenal in their final league fixture of the season on May 12.