Manchester City interim boss Brian Kidd has refused to criticise his players following their 3-2 home defeat to Norwich on Sunday.
City are without a permanent manager after Roberto Mancini was dismissed earlier this week, and rounded off their campaign with a humbling at the hands of Chris Hughton's men at the Etihad Stadium.
However, the former Manchester United assistant manager rejected suggestions that the result was down to a lack of effort.
"It's been an emotional week with the events at the club," he told BBC Sport.
"Full credit to the lads, they've got stuck in and given their best and you can't ask for any more."
On the regular chants aired in support of Mancini, the 63-year-old added: "I understand the cheers for the boss, he would have been disappointed if there wasn't for what he did here."
Kidd also bemoaned his side's limp defence of their Premier League crown, which was ended by Manchester United with four fixtures still remaining.
"We have fallen short of the standards we set last season, but it hasn't been for a lack of effort," he continued.
"You defend as a team and attack as a team, so you have to look collectively, but we haven't reached that consistency."