The Sky Blues were trailing 3-0 against Crewe after a disastrous first leg at the Ricoh Arena and passed up several good opportunities at Gresty Road to give themselves a fighting chance of a stunning turnaround, Leon Clarke and Carl Baker, among others, guilty.
A Mark Ellis injury-time own goal was quickly followed by a strike from Clarke but there was just not enough time and a 2-0 victory on the night still saw them miss out on a first trip to Wembley since 1987.
Carsley said: "The fans can go back down the M6 proud of the lads.
"I've watched a lot of videos lately of great comebacks and they tend to happen late but we left it a little too late this time.
"Leon has said sorry and says he should be more clinical but he doesn't have to apologise to us, he's a good player and when he works as hard as he did for us you can forgive him. He was unplayable.
"The tie was possibly lost at home. It was always going to be an uphill task but it was a task we were up for but fair play to Crewe, they played well and deserve their place in the final."
- Sports & Recreation
- Leon Clarke