After losing in the final to Stevenage at Old Trafford last year, the Gulls' promotion hopes were ended by Cheltenham at the semi-final stage this time round.
"If you look at our crowd at the end of the game, they clapped us off through every single player," said Ling following the 4-1 aggregate defeat on Thursday night.
"I think they know we have overachieved. The expectation levels were not great at the start of the season but I know this is still going to hurt, and I know it is going to hurt my players because I felt that we could do it.
"Let's be fair to (former manager) Paul Buckle as well, the club overachieved last year too.
"Can you keep overachieving? Of course you can. We were expected to be mid-table and below this year and we proved them wrong and I quite like proving people wrong so I hope we can do it again."