Mark Hughes said that Stoke finishing ninth was “more than a good achievement” for the club.
The Potters finished ninth yet again after goals from Giannelli Imbula and Mame Biram Diouf cancelled out Michail Antonio’s opener for West Ham in a 2-1 win.
Defeat for the Hammers means they will be relying on Manchester United to beat Crystal Palace in the FA Cup final in order to qualify for the Europa League next season.
For Stoke, it was a first win in seven matches and took them to a ninth-placed finish for the third successive season under boss Hughes.
When it was put to him that that was a good achievement, Hughes said: “It is a bit more than a good achievement, surely – cut us a bit of slack!
“No, it is fantastic. I think of all the seasons we have managed ninth, this is the most satisfying, because it has been more difficult this year.
“You want to finish on the right note and performance-wise we wanted to hit a good level, and certainly second half I thought we did that, so everybody is going away on summer holidays or to the European Championship in good heart.
“Then we’ll come back together in July, go again and try to do better.”