He told AVTV: "It would have been fantastic if Gareth had stayed. It happened early in the summer so we didn't have the debacle we faced the previous season. But that wasn't too important to me.
"It would just have been great if he had stayed on another year. I was disappointed to lose him.
"He wanted to go and he felt Manchester City was the right stage so I won't argue, particularly when you consider the number of years he spent at the football club.
"It has happened now but he has been a fantastic servant and I wish him all the very best.
"I worked with him for three years, he hardly missed a game and he cemented his place in the national side and has done exceptionally well overall.
"I am sure he will go from strength to strength."