Garry Monk has expressed sadness at his departure from Swansea, insisting it will not be long before the players are producing again and the club will be on the rise.
Monk, in a statement released by the League Managers Association, spoke about the end of his 22-month tenure and how he wanted to remain in charge of the Barclays Premier League club.
But the 36-year-old, who last season guided Swansea to a best-ever Premier League finish, admitted he had run out of time after a run of only one win in 11 games left the Welsh club precariously perched a point above the relegation zone.
“It’s with great sadness that I am leaving this special club,” said Monk, who joined Swansea as a player in 2004.
“I believe that whenever you join a football club, the supporters deserve your blood, sweat and tears. I can say for sure I gave all those things and more.
“The transition from player straight to manager in the biggest league in the world is never an easy challenge, but it is a challenge that I have relished and immersed myself in.
“I have always tried to improve the principles and values that we have built at this club on and off the pitch on a daily basis.”
Monk succeeded Michael Laudrup in February 2014 with Swansea two points above the bottom three with 13 league games left.
But the interim manager steered the club away from relegation danger to earn a full-time deal and then guided Swansea to an eighth-placed finish with a record Premier League points total.
Swansea built on that to be in the top four after beating Manchester United at the end of August, but that was only the prelude to a dramatic slide down the table which eventually cost Monk his job on Wednesday.
“I have no doubt whatsoever that these players will start to show their true quality again very soon, and the club will be looking upwards once more,” Monk said.
“I feel truly proud of all we’ve done during my 22 months in charge.
“I would have liked to continue because I strongly believe we would have come through this period together and stronger, but I will now use my time to reflect and improve, ready for my next challenge.”
Swansea favourite Alan Curtis is set to take charge of team affairs against Manchester City on Saturday as club chairman Huw Jenkins continues his search for a new manager.
Curtis has been asked to stand in after assistant manager Pep Clotet and first-team coaches James Beattie and Kristian O’Leary followed Monk out of the Liberty Stadium door on Thursday morning.
Jenkins said on Wednesday that he hopes to “appoint a replacement as soon as possible” and Press Association Sport understands the chairman is willing to look towards Europe after initial interest in bringing former manager Brendan Rodgers back to Swansea was rebuffed.
But reports linking former Chelsea, Portsmouth and West Ham manager Avram Grant, the current coach of Ghana, to the post were dismissed by the Israeli’s agent, Saif Rubie.
“On the record just to say as Avram Grant’s agent that he is happy as the coach of @ghanafaofficial Blackstars. @SwansOfficial not in touch,” Rubie wrote on his Twitter account.
“Everything can change in football however at this moment nothing new with Avram has been discussed and he is on official leave currently.”
Rangers manager Mark Warburton has also been heavily favoured by bookmakers to succeed Monk, but he brushed aside the speculation at a Glasgow press conference.
“It’s a compliment to the players,” said Warburton, the former Brentford boss who was linked with taking over at managerless Fulham last week.
“Any manager only gets linked to jobs – and it’s always flattering – if you are winning games of football.
“But I’m just going to repeat what I said last week. I surely can’t go down this path again.”
Unless Jenkins makes a permanent appointment in the next 24 hours or so, first-team coach Curtis will take charge of a squad which has taken only six points from the last 33 on offer.
Curtis, who played over 350 games in three different spells at Swansea and has held various coaching positions there during the last two decades, will be assisted in the dug-out by goalkeeping coach Tony Roberts and performance psychologist Ian Mitchell.