Oxford United manager Michael Appleton says his side have been "the best team" in League Two this season.
The U's won 3-0 against Wycombe on Saturday to seal second place in the table and return to the third tier for the first time since 2001.
"This will cheese off a few Northampton fans but this year's been fantastic and all credit to them," he said.
"I genuinely believe, overall, what the players have achieved over 60 games has been magnificent."
Appleton told BBC Radio Oxford, "I'm probably going to upset people saying this but I think we have been the best team in the division."
Oxford now join Northampton and Bristol Rovers in earning promotion to League One, but Appleton says he had belief in his players even before their final-day heroics.
"I knew about one o'clock today, when I spoke to the players, there's a real focus about them," he continued.
"I sat down with the staff once I'd spoken to the players and I went into my office after they went into the dressing room and I said 'it's our day today'."
The Johnstone's Paint Trophy finalists scored 84 goals on their way to promotion, more than any other team in the division, and lost just one of their final 10 League Two games.
"There's a lot of people who say you can't get out of this league playing decent football, but I'd go as far as to say you can get out of this league doing that and this is just the start of it," added Appleton.
"We've proven a lot of people wrong this year, a few people not too far away, so that's quite satisfying."