Mark Yates hailed his goalkeeper Scott Brown for keeping Cheltenham in the game as his side eventually overcame Torquay at Plainmoor.
The Robins withstood heavy first-half pressure before goals from Jermaine McGlashan and Marlon Pack confirmed their place in the League Two play-off final 4-1 on aggregate.
Yates' men travel to Wembley a week on Sunday to face a Crewe side unbeaten in their last 18 outings.
And he told Sky Sports: "All credit to them (Torquay). They were excellent first half. Scotty (Brown) kept us in the game with some crucial saves.
"Changes second half. You know, maybe I didn't get it quite right in the first half before an excellent second half as we took control of the game and we have the pace and quality to hit people on the break.
"We scored a couple of good goals and I'm just delighted for these supporters and the players. They thoroughly deserve it.
"We've got a tough game against Crewe but we've got a week to chill out a bit and then we can go again."
Yates has captained Cheltenham to play-off glory before and asked what it would mean to do it as a manager, he said: "It would be fantastic but we know we've got a tough game, it's 50-50.
"They've beaten us twice and everyone will make them favourites. They're a good side and we know that. We'll just relax now and pick things up again next week and we'll go there to try and finish things off."
And regarding the performance of Brown and the goal by Marlon Pack, he said: "He (Brown) was fantastic and he has been all season. Two or three of those saves in the first half were different class.
"Pack's got that in the locker, but it's taken him probably 40-odd games. He scored one earlier on in the season and he's hit the bar with a couple, but it finished the tie off nicely for us."
Yates knows his side will be in for a tough game against Crewe when they meet at Wembley on Sunday 27th May.
He said: "They're quality. Everybody knows that, 18 or 19 games unbeaten and they've beaten us twice like I said. But we'll be a different animal next time we play them. They're a good side and so are we."
Torquay manager Martin Ling admitted his side will be hurting after the defeat.
"I just think chances that have been created by us have not been taken by us," Ling told Sky Sports 1 HD.
"Opportunities have come along first half today and (Kevin) Nicholson hits the bar, their keeper (Scott Brown) pulls off a couple of wonder saves and (Mark) Ellis hits the post.
"They took their chances and they're going to Wembley. I wish Mark Yates and Cheltenham all the best because over the two games they probably just edged it but tonight was all about chances."
Asked what he will take from the experience of the play-offs, he said: "If you look at our crowd at the end of the game there and they clapped us off through every single player.
"The expectation levels were not great at the start of the season and I think we've overachieved, but I know it's going to hurt when I wake up in the morning and I know it's going to hurt my players because I felt that we could do it.
"A couple of weeks ago when we were in the top three we probably just threw it away and over the last six games we haven't been good enough because we haven't won any of them."