Former Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert claims he was delighted to be given the sack by the club in February last year.
Lambert’s turbulent spell at Villa Park came to an end when he was replaced by Tim Sherwood after they went 10 Premier League games without a win, yet the club’s decline has continued unabated and they now sit eight points from safety at the bottom of the table.
Former Scotland international Lambert says he was proud of his old squad’s fighting spirit – something critics claim has been sorely lacking this season – yet he admits he was relieved when his own time was up.
“The lads at Villa at that time gave us everything, there was never one time where I walked away and thought we had thrown the towel in,” he told Sky Sports.
“We just found things hard towards the end. As I’ve said before, Villa is a great club, always has been and always will be, but I knew my time was up.
“Some of the things that were going on were never right so when it [the sacking] did actually happen, I was delighted it was going to happen.”
Lambert, now manager of Blackburn Rovers, also relished the chance to spend time learning from foreign coaches following his Villa exit.
“I was over with Jurgen [Klopp] at Borussia Dortmund for nine days and watched them train,” he said. “I was at Bayern Munich when Pep [Guardiola] was there and it was brilliant, I really enjoyed it.
“Real Madrid was brilliant, Carlo Ancelotti was absolutely fantastic and it doesn’t surprise me that he’s on his way to Bayern.”
The former Dortmund midfielder revealed he rejected an offer from an unnamed club abroad before opting to join Blackburn.
“I had the chance to go abroad, but at that time I didn’t want to do it. I don’t want to name the club,” he added.