Steve Evans admits he was heartbroken to be told his services as Peterborough United boss were no longer required.
But the often outspoken 56 year-old insists he has no hard feelings towards the man who made the decision, chairman Darragh MacAnthony, or the man who replaced him within an hour of his departure, Darren Ferguson.
Indeed Evans, who insists he was given no reason for his dismissal other than MacAnthony talking about ‘a change in direction,’ is confident Ferguson will secure a Posh return to the Championship.
Evans is also confident he would have led Posh to the play-offs for the first time in five years had he been allowed to finish the job.
Evans was Posh boss for just 11 months and 52 competitive matches. He signed 22 players in that time and Posh picked up over 50% of the available points under his management.
Posh were top of League One in August and haven’t been below seventh all season, but they won just three of the last 13 League One matches under the care of Evans. Posh were sixth after a hard fought 0-0 draw with promotion rivals Charlton when Evans was fired.
“I was proud to manage Posh from the minute I was appointed to the final whistle after the Charlton game,” Evans said in an exclusive interview with the Peterborough Telegraph.
“But I was heartbroken to be told I was losing the job when I wasn’t even halfway through my plan for promotion to the Championship.
“I would have got this club into the play-offs this season and my record in play-offs is so good I would have fancied us to get promotion.
“It seemed like an impossible job to win promotion having built a new team, and having watched some top players leave in the summer, but my teams tend to finish seasons strongly.
“I don’t have any regrets. There were mistakes and frustrations along the way, but that’s true of any club.
“I’ve never left a club in worse shape than when I joined it and I believe that’s the case with Posh.
“I’m disappointed obviously, but I am not interested in criticising Darragh or Darren.
“Darragh met me for about two minutes after the Charlton match, told me he wanted to now travel in a different direction, so I shook hands with him, thanked him for the opportunity and drove away.
“Barry Fry told me it was the most professional parting he’d seen. I wasn’t going to grovel for my job.
“I will always be grateful to Darragh for giving me the chance to manage my hometown club. I don’t agree with his decision, but it’s one he’s entitled to make.
“Darren Ferguson is a top-class manager and I believe he will get Posh promoted. He has has had success in League One and he knows the club well and all that experience will be invaluable.
“I hope he succeeds. After Celtic, Posh are my club. Their results are the ones I look out for and I’d love to be able to watch Championship football at my hometown club next season.
“I will be back as a manager somewhere. I’ve had a couple of enquiries already, but for now I will have a break. I’m going away somewhere warm with the family.”
Evans issued a statement to the Peterborough Telegraph which included thanks to the players and staff for their efforts.