MILLWALL boss Ian Holloway says staying in the Championship feels like "being promoted" for his side.
The Lions beat Bournemouth 1-0, courtesy of Martyn Woolford's first-half header, to secure their second-tier status on a dramatic final day of the season.
Millwall finished the year unbeaten in eight games to reach safety and Holloway hailed his players for coming to the fore during the final run-in.
"This is one of our biggest achievements as a club – everybody has rallied, been honest and hard-working," Holloway said.
"After the games against Birmingham and Blackburn, we could have capitulated but our response was typical of this place – we dragged ourselves up by the bootstraps.
"We've had a little bit of fortune, with Lee Martin and Nicky Bailey coming back from injury, and that fateful day when we lost 6-0 in a training game.
"It was 4-0 at half time, and we are only talking a 20-minute game, and they still lost the second half 2-0, so I went mental and Alan Dunne said one or two things.
"I made seven changes to that team and put confidence into the lads – and they were not ready to play because they hadn't been training together long enough.
"But since then, the turnaround has been quite remarkable. Every one of them has stepped to the plate as a person and a team player. They were as a group should be.
"I want to congratulate them for that.
"David Forde made a few saves and we needed him to do that. We missed a couple of chances and we could have won beaten Bournemouth by two or three goals.
"To see this ground, with those fans in it and the energy and enthusiasm that they had today – that's what made me want to come here.
"I'm pleased for every single Millwall fans and proud of my team, because it could have gone either way. Today, it feels like we got promoted.
"I can't thank them enough – they deserve it. Boy, we don't half make it tough, though, don't we?"