Slaven Bilic says his sacking by West Ham was a “logical move” that he expected to happen after a poor start to the Premier League season.
The Hammers parted company with the Croatian on Monday after another disappointing weekend at the London Stadium, West Ham beaten 4-1 by Liverpool on Saturday.
After 11 matches the club sit in the bottom three on just nine points, something that forced the hands of joint owners David Sullivan and David Gold.
The West Ham chairmen admitted getting rid of Bilic had been done with “heavy hearts”, before stating a desire to appoint a replacement who can “inject fresh ideas” – with David Moyes the frontrunner to come in.
Rather than having any resentment towards his former employers, Bilic said he understood why he had been sacked but hoped his efforts would eventually be seen in a positive light.
“I’m sad and disappointed but not in the club,” he said as he left the training ground.
“I expected it to be fair. There are no hard feelings. As time goes by I’m sure I will be proud of my work here.
“We didn’t start this crucial season well. We had a really good, or great, or very good first season, then the second season we knew was going to be a difficult one in a transition to move to the new stadium and all the difficulties we had.
“We coped with that at the end really good, finished middle of the table, but then this season we hoped we could make that step from the start and we just didn’t make it.
“And as in many clubs in the Premier League and across Europe the manager is the one who pays the price.
“It’s a very logical move.”
West Ham’s fans expressed their dissatisfaction after the Liverpool defeat, but Bilic had only good words to say about the club’s supporters.
“The fans were brilliant with me from the start until the very end, and I really felt it,” Bilic added.
“It’s not just words. For me, this was more than a job, it was personal because of my relationship with the club, one I played for.
“They came here for my first game, a team from Andorra, and made a full house.
“You have to respect that and nothing will change that memory for me.”