St Johnstone's defeat at Celtic earlier in the day meant a win for the Highlanders over Dundee United would have secured the coveted third spot in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League. But an injury-time strike from Gary Mackay-Steven saw the Taysiders grab the 2-1 win instead - their first victory since the league split.
Butcher said: "There is huge disappointment because we have had enough chances to win two or three matches. We missed a penalty as well. It's our fault that we're not in Europe now. It's as simple as that."
As it stands, Inverness, Saints and Ross County - depending on their result on Sunday - are all still in contention for the one remaining Europa League berth.
"I don't think we deserved to lose the game but you've got to put the ball in the back of the net from chances and we had chance after chance after chance and missed," Butcher added.
Inverness now face the prospect of taking on local rivals Ross County in Dingwall next week in a bid to finally wrap up third place. Butcher's men remain in the driving seat but a win for County against Motherwell would also keep their hopes of European football alive heading into what would be an enthralling Highland derby.
Butcher said: "We said before today's game that if we didn't win it would all come down to next week. We will look forward to that game but it's a hard one to get over at the moment."
On paper, United may have had less incentive to come out on top than Inverness but boss Jackie McNamara says his players were just as determined on the day.
He said: "It was pride. As a footballer, you come here and you try to enjoy it and try to get the three points as much as them.
"It's a much better feeling at the weekend when you win."
- Sports & Recreation
- Clydesdale Bank Premier League
- Dundee United