Sacked manager Owen Coyle is convinced he would've led Bolton Wanderers to promotion this season.
While bearing no malice toward Wanderers chairman Phil Gartside, a man with whom he forged a strong friendship, Coyle remains convinced the club's ultimate goal lay within his reach.
He told Sky Sports News: "We understand we had to hit the ground running this year. It's not happened.
"People say 'is it too early?' - I certainly believe we'd have got promotion from the position we're in.
"But ultimately, the people who make the decision have decided it's not to be. They want to seek a fresh face.
"What I do know is, whoever it is that's coming in, they're coming in to a marvellous opportunity at a wonderful club and I've got no doubts they will kick on from strength to strength."