"It was not a nice feeling to be on the end of a sacking after 27 years unbroken service in the game," he admitted. "It was a dark time for me, but hopefully I have put that one to bed.
"At the time I played a bit of golf, went racing, tried to relax and then concentrated on a plan to get back in the game.
"Eventually I got the phone call that mattered. I realise what is at stake, I realise that my opportunity is here and now and I'm ready for it.
"I may have put my head on the block by getting into the Premier League, but I prefer it that way. It is about brave decisions, brave men and brave people around that man. Hopefully we will have all that next season."