Former Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba said he is devastated the club have sacked manager Owen Coyle.
The Championship outfit have managed just 11 points from 10 matches in the second tier after relegation from the Premier League last season, and sit in 18th place.
The owners reacted on Tuesday by removing the coach from his post, a position he has held for almost three years including a difficult period last term when Muamba was forced to retire after suffering a cardiac arrest.
Muamba said although he is sure the club will find a suitable replacement, he is still sad to see Coyle leave after the 46-year-old showed a lot of faith in him.
“Owen was very supportive to me and I am grateful for that,” the ex-Arsenal midfielder told reporters.
“If you look at the start of the season, the guys have not been playing particularly well and the results have not been up to the standards we thought with the players we’ve got in the team.
“I was obviously devastated to see he was going but I am sure the club and the chairman will bring someone in to get promoted because we need to get promoted.
“In football you make changes and sometimes that’s good, sometimes it’s bad. We just have to wait and see how the club react.
“Football is a results game and you get paid and picked if you play well. If you don’t, you get out the team.
“For players it is the same as a manager. You stay in the job as long as the boys are performing for the team.
“I can understand exactly where the club came from, but at the end of the day he did a great job for the club and I am grateful to him.”
Muamba has been keeping busy by attending many sporting events as a role model for young people. Although he is enjoying some time away from football, he indicated he would like to return to the game in some capacity, but ruled out coaching.
“I have just been enjoying life, spending time with my family,” he added.
“I am writing a book at the moment, which will hopefully be out in November.
“I have been travelling as well but I never watch much football because I get really frustrated. As a professional, you get frustrated not being involved.
“I have been spending time with family, friends and catching up with a lot of people. Doing things I wasn’t able to do when I was playing. I have time to do it now.
“Regarding coaching, I’m too impatient. I would like to be involved in football in some shape or form.”