Chris Hughton has expressed disappointment at the timing of his sacking as Norwich manager and believes he was on course to keep the Canaries in the Premier League.
The former Newcastle and Birmingham boss departed Carrow Road on Sunday, with under-18s coach Neil Adams taking over the reins.
Hughton was relieved of his duties after back-to-back defeats left Norwich in a precarious position with five games to go, including Saturday's potentially key clash at Fulham.
“I am naturally very disappointed to have lost my job but immensely proud to have served as Norwich City's manager,'' Hughton said in a statement issued by the League Managers Association (LMA).
“I understand the recent frustrations, but I remained totally confident that we were on course to create history at the club by retaining our top-flight status and move into a fourth consecutive season in the Premier League.
“Collectively we were ready for the challenge that the final five games presented and we believed we would reward the club and the supporters by achieving that objective.''
Adams was placed in charge following the loss to West Brom, with 17th-placed Norwich five points clear of the relegation zone ahead of the trip to Craven Cottage and matches with Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal.
LMA chief executive Richard Bevan said: “We are all very disappointed for Chris and in particular with the timing of his dismissal. We must recognise that Norwich City has come a long way in a very short space of time and that just four years ago they were competing in League One.
“Chris enjoyed an excellent first season in charge by guiding the club to 11th in the Premier League which was their highest finish in 20 years. Chris has an excellent record of managerial success initially with Newcastle and later with Birmingham before he joined Norwich so it is with regret that we see one of our top English managers being dismissed without being given the opportunity to see out the season.''