But despite finishing fourth after the 22-game regular season, they reached their fourth successive Premiership final by securing a first away win for any club in six seasons of play-offs.
Fly-half Andy Goode's injury-time drop-goal swung the verdict, leaving Loffreda elated and his Gloucester counterpart Dean Ryan fuming.
Loffreda said: "The squad and the staff have been very supportive, also the board.
"It was important so I could work more relaxed, but we are still in the race and that is all that matters.
"I have said a few times before that we are not going to give up."
Gloucester, despite topping the regular Premiership season for a third time in six seasons, once again blew it.
While Leicester can now look forward to meeting Wasps, Gloucester must reflect on another campaign that saw them fall painfully short.
Fly-half Ryan Lamb kicked 17 points, while Tigers lost the plot to such an extent that they were reduced to 13 men in the first-half after number eight Jordan Crane and scrum-half Harry Ellis were sin-binned in quick succession.
But second-half tries from wing Alesana Tuilagi and centre Aaron Mauger ensured the Tigers stayed in touch.
Ryan said: "We committed suicide in the second half. We could, and should, quite easily have won.
"I've lost a bit of enthusiasm myself. For a side to move forward, you cannot continue to be a side being told what to do."