Sunderland midfielder Jordan Henderson says Sunday's 3-0 victory at West Ham United proved to the supporters that the players have passion for the club.
The Wearsiders ended the season in 10th place, winning three of their last five Premier League games to secure a top-half finish ahead of rivals Newcastle.
"Today's win gave a little bit back to the fans to show them we care," Henderson told BBC Newcastle.
"It meant a lot and we came up with the goods, we were over the moon to win."
Henderson and his team-mates had put Sunderland in the hunt for a European spot at the turn of the year, with January's 2-1 win against Blackpool sending the Black Cats into seventh place.
However a run of nine games without a win following the success at Bloomfield Road ended any lingering hopes of a Europa League campaign next season.
"We've got away with it a little bit, to have gone eight or nine games without a win earlier in the season is pretty disappointing and poor from our point of view," Henderson added.
"We can't get carried away, it could have been a lot better if we hadn't gone on that run.
"We have to look at that and hopefully next season we can progress again."
Henderson has scored three goals in 39 appearances this season for the Black Cats, and made his full England debut against France in November 2010.