Jon Brady said he hoped the Cobblers fans now had a team they could be proud of as he reflected on the play-off semi-final second leg.
"I thought we played really well and dominated most of the game tonight," he said.
"Our best chance was probably Josh Eppiah's header right at the start but fair play to Mansfield they put their bodies on the line.
"We could and probably should have had a couple of penalties and we've had some tough decisions all season but I have to congratulate Nigel Clough and his side.
"We gave it everything tonight but unfortunately we just couldn't quite get ourselves over the line.
"The players gave it everything this season, we only missed out on automatic promotion by a whisker and we were only four points off top of the league.
"Hopefully we have delivered a team to the fans that they can be proud of and we will come back again.
"We are hungry for more and we want to get back into League 1."