Phil Brown insists Hull City would still be a Premiership club if he had not been sacked.
Brown, 51, was brutally elbowed by City in March with the Humberside outfit in the depths of a desperate struggle to preserve the top-flight status that the former Bolton No.2 and Derby boss had led them to for the first time in their history.
Brown has now walked away from Hull for good with an £800,000 pay-off. He feels that it is scant consolation for what might have been had he stayed.
"Would I have kept them up? You can never answer that for sure, but I would back myself and say that we would have stayed up," says Brown.
"I have met on numerous occasions with Brian Horton, who was my assistant-manager, and we have both felt aggrieved that we did not get the chance to keep Hull up.
"I go on mountain bike rides for a couple of hours and, when you are on your own, you think about all sorts; the past, the present, the future. I often think about what I did right and what I did wrong and, hand on heart, I can say the rights outweigh the wrongs by a long way.
"When you take a club into the Premier League for the first time in their history, it points towards you having earned the right to have a stab at those last nine games.
"For whatever reason, I did not get that chance."
But there is no hint of malice as he adds: "Adam [Pearson] has got his job to do, and nobody can doubt what he has done for the club.
"Adam is the one who pulled the trigger, but I have got no animosity towards any individual.
"Russell [Bartlett] has shown a lot of class in the face of adversity, standing up to be counted. With that sort of leadership I think they have got a great chance next season."
Brown will not be around to lead that fight, and he told the Sunday Mirror: "Yeah, I did hurt when I was put on gardening leave - and, yes, there is a little bit of me that is still hurting.
"But you have to move on in football.
"The history books will probably be kind to me, though, and I feel very proud of what we achieved."