TOP scorer Richard Brodie says York City must “regroup” and come back “bigger and stronger” next season.

The 37-goal frontman said the side had to take their 3-1 loss to Oxford United in the Blue Square Premier play-off final “like men” and look to the next campaign.

Brodie said: “We have had an excellent season, we’ve come here and it’s about 90 minutes and a one-off game.

“They were two evenly matched teams, unfortunately they’ve had the luck and they’ve come out on top.

“They had a fast start and we’ve done that a lot this season. We were on the receiving end of another team starting faster than us and they scored two goals.

“I wouldn’t say they were a better team than we were but once you concede those goals it is always hard to come back.”

Brodie insisted: “We have got to regroup. We will take it like men. We will get back together, work hard and come back bigger and stronger.”

The Geordie frontman said he felt Oxford were worried when City reduced the deficit through U’s goalkeeper Ryan Clarke’s own-goal late in the first-half.

And he also refused to blame a sandy Wembley pitch, which had been criticised by Chelsea players during the previous day’s FA Cup final, for City’s woes.

“They were on the rocks and panicking a little bit,” Brodie added. “You go in at half-time and you try to regroup and come back out in the second half. We were nearly there, but just not quite.

“Even when we went 2-0 down, the camaraderie we have got in the squad was always good enough to make us think we could get back.

“The pitch was wet on the top but underneath it was quite firm. It wasn’t a great surface but there are no excuses. They have won the game.”

Brodie, who shed tears at the final whistle, stressed there was always next season.

He said: “It (the season) has been excellent. Not just for myself but for a bunch of lads who have absolutely worked their socks off all season for the gaffer.

“We have all mucked in together. Yes, I have got the goals but it’s been a massive collective effort.

“Unfortunately, the result was not what we wanted but there’s always next year.”