Chris Hughton has finally spoken out on his sacking at Brighton & Hove Albion and said he was 'hugely disappointed and surprised'.
The 60-year-old was dismissed the day after the end of the Premier League season having kept the Seagulls up for a second successive year.
He spent four-and-a-half years as the club's manager bringing them up from the Championship.
Albion stayed up by just two points after winning only 11 points in 18 games in 2019 and has been replaced at the club by Graham Potter.
In a statement released by the League Managers Association, Hughton said: “I was hugely disappointed and surprised, by the decision that was made to end my time with Brighton and Hove Albion FC.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my four and a half years managing this special football club.
"I would like to put on record my gratitude to my coaching staff, the players, fans, everyone connected to the club and the wider community of Brighton & Hove and wish them luck for the future.
LMA chief executive Richard Bevan added: “Chris’ impressive tenure has been inspirational for his peers in the game.
“He has helped transform Brighton & Hove Albion, from fighting relegation to League One, to competing with the best teams in the world and retaining Premier League status for yet another season.
“This season, he again proved his managerial ability in also leading his team to the Semi-Final of the FA Cup for only the second time in the club’s history.
“He continues to be a tremendous role model for young managers and coaches in the game.”