Ruben Selles is disappointed not to have been kept on as Southampton manager as he feels ready to lead the side despite overseeing their meek relegation.
A myriad of bad decisions on and off the field has brought Saints’ 11-year stay in the Premier League to a crushing end.
Ralph Hasenhuttl started the season in charge and was replaced by divisive Nathan Jones, with an initial upturn under Selles quickly flatlining after being handed the job for the rest of the campaign.
Saints were relegated with two games to spare and the club announced on Wednesday that the Spaniard’s contract “will not be renewed when it expires at the end of the season”.
Selles found that out on Monday and will take charge for the final time against Liverpool on Sunday, with Russell Martin then set to come in as Southampton prepare for life in the Championship.
“Listen, I did as much as I can, I show here every weekend with you, I make the team being competitive,” he said.
“We didn’t get the football, the results that we expected to have.
“I think you saw an identity, you saw a team that wants to play together. We didn’t make it.
“I tried to put everything every time with this sort of mentality and in that part I did my best and that’s the reality. I cannot change the decision from the owners.
“I still think I’m ready but it’s not my call and, yeah, my feeling right now is just to finish in the best way possible, to prepare the Liverpool game.
“And then on Monday, we will think about something different.”
Selles joined Saints from Copenhagen last summer as first-team lead coach supporting Hasenhuttl having enjoyed a varied coaching career that had taken him from Spain to the likes of Russia and Azerbaijan.
But now the 39-year-old sees himself in England and hopes to be able to stay coaching there at a high level.
“Of course, I would like to stay here and I would like to stay in the top level that I can stay,” Selles said. “If it’s not Premier League, it’s very close to that.
“My target has been always to be competing against the best and with the best.
“That’s what I have been doing in the last three months and I want to be here back and I want to find myself back as quick as possible.”
As Selles’ time at St Mary’s comes to a close on Sunday, attention turns to the new era under impending appointment of Martin.
The PA news agency understands the Swansea boss is poised to become Southampton head coach on a three-year deal.
“I just make my opinion of all of them as a squad, as individual players,” Selles said of the squad Martin will inherit.
“I don’t know who is the new coach. You maybe probably know that better than me but, actually, it’s not for me.
“I just told the club what I think. I told before this week what I think is what we need to do to rebuild the squad for the Championship or for the Premier League in that time if we stay.
“So, they know my opinion, but they can do with that what they want.”