Paul Lambert has admitted managing Aston Villa was the "toughest challenge" of his working life but that he remains proud of his time at the club.
Lambert, 45, was sacked on Wednesday after almost three years with the club after Villa dropped into the bottom three of the Premier League.
The Scot said he had been tasked by owner Randy Lerner to overhaul the squad and cut wages, and warned as to the scale of the job.
Lambert said in a statement issued through the League Managers' Association: "I am extremely proud to have managed Aston Villa, a founder member of the Football League, and this sentiment will always remain with me.
"My initial remit was to conduct a massive overhaul of the playing squad, lower the overall wage structure of the playing staff and achieve this whilst keeping the club in the Barclays Premier League.
Who will be the next Aston Villa manager?
Who will be the next Aston Villa manager?
1/8 Tim Sherwood
The short-term manager of Tottenham is in danger of becoming the next Alan Curbishley - linked with every vacancy but never landing the job. At one stage looked certain to take over at QPR but pulled out of the running after failing to get assurances about where the club was heading. With Aston Villa Randy Lerner making no secret of his desire to sell the club, there could be sticking points yet again.
2/8 Glenn Hoddle
The former England manager was among the staff at QPR but in the shake-up after Harry Redknapp departed he left Loftus Road too. Has not managed any side since he left Wolves in 2006, spending many of the intervening years as a television pundit.
3/8 Michael Laudrup
The Dane has been strongly linked with the vacancy at QPR and his agent has indicated he would be keen on a return to the Premier League - so much so he would be willing to take a pay cut from his current job as manager of Qatari side Lekhwiya. But his agent has also said Laudrup will honour his contract - meaning any move to Aston Villa might have to wait. The former Barcelona player is regarded highly after taking Swansea to League Cup success and instilling an easy-on-the-eye style of football in Wales despite a limited budget.
4/8 Jurgen Klinsmann
Jurgen Klinsmann has often found himself linked with a return to the Premier League where he remains well loved for his entertaining spell as a Tottenham striker. Is still the manager of the United States, a job he took in 2011, and with another World Cup very far away he could be tempted by a return to club football.
5/8 Gareth Southgate
Having only been appointed as manager of the England Under-21s in 2013 it would take a lot to tempt Southgate away. But his history with Aston Villa makes is a possibility - the former defender made over 200 appearances for the Villains. Only other management experience came at Middlesbrough - where he oversaw the club's relegation from the Premier League.
6/8 Neil Lennon
The former Celtic manager only recently returned to management with Bolton where he made a quick impact to help them move away from the relegation zone. Recent results haven't been quite so impressive but five league titles with Celtic and some impressive Champions League results see his stock remain high.
7/8 Roy Keane
Was recently among Paul Lambert's staff at Aston Villa before departing to concentrate on his assistant role with the Republic of Ireland. The appointment of Keane would see someone arrive who already knows the players and the club and he certainly has the fear factor if that is what is needed to kick the faltering team into shape. However the former Manchester United captain has failed to replicate his success as a player in the management roles he has held at Sunderland and Ipswich.
8/8 Sean Dyche
A coach with real respect and is proving why he's regarded so highly by giving Burnley a real fighting chance of Premier League survival despite the shoestring budget at Turf Moor. Would take a lot to tempt him away - particularly just for another relegation battle.
"There was also a concerted effort to purchase and develop younger players who would provide a solid footing for the football club to move forward and enhance the value of the playing squad in the future.
"When I came on board the club's owner, Randy Lerner, warned me that I was embarking on the toughest challenge of my working life and he was not wrong.
"But I have never stepped away from hard work and I put my heart and soul into the job from my first day until my last."
Lambert signed a contract extension after a good start to the season in September, however Villa's form deteriorated and included a dismal run of 659 minutes without a top-flight goal.
It ended against Chelsea on Saturday but Tuesday's loss at Hull saw them drop into the bottom three.
First-team coach Scott Marshall and goalkeeping coach Andy Marshall will be charge ahead of Sunday's home FA Cup tie with Leicester and former Tottenham boss Tim Sherwood, current Real Madrid assistant Paul Clement and USA head coach Jurgen Klinsmann installed among the bookmakers' favourites to replace Lambert.
Lambert thanked Lerner, his coaching staff, the players, the fans and former chief executive Paul Faulkner - but perhaps significantly not Faulkner's successor Tom Fox.
He said: "To the players, my sincere thanks to each and every one of them. They are a fantastic group of players and I wish them every success for the rest of their playing careers. I hope to see many of them achieve great things in the game.
"Finally, I pay tribute to the supporters who are among the most passionate I have ever encountered. They rightly hold huge expectations for their beloved football club and I sincerely hope they are rewarded with the success they deserve.
"I completely understand their frustrations and always shared their view that the football club is too big not to be competing at the top end of the table. I hope that can happen."
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