DAVID Moyes has expressed his gratitude towards predecessor Sir Alex Ferguson in his first public address since being sacked by Manchester United.
“To have been appointed as manager of Manchester United was and remains something of which I will always be incredibly proud,” the Scot said in a statement released through the League Manager’s Association.
“I remain proud to have led the team to the quarter finals of this year’s Champions League and I remain grateful to Sir Alex Ferguson for believing in my ability and giving me the chance to manage Manchester United.”
The former Everton boss was relieved of his duties less than 10 months into a six-year contract on Tuesday following a disastrous first season in charge.
Moyes is reportedly unhappy with the manner his dismissal was handled by the Old Trafford club with the LMA claiming United had acted “in an unprofessional manner”.
Widespread speculation spread on Monday afternoon through national newspapers that Moyes was set to be removed before the 50-year-old was told his fate the following day in an early-morning meeting at Carrington with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.
Moyes described the job of rebuilding after Ferguson’s 26 year tenure as “a significant challenge” and recognised coaches Steve Round, Jimmy Lumsden, Phil Neville and Ryan Giggs for their commitment to the cause.
“Taking charge after such a long period of continuous stability and success at the club was inevitably going to be a significant challenge, but it was one which I relished and never had a second thought about taking on.
“The scale of the manager’s job at United is immense, but I have never stepped away from hard work and the same applies to my coaching staff.
“I thank them for their dedication and loyalty throughout the last season,” he added.
Moyes’s thanks extended to the all of the staff and United fans, the majority of which remained loyal and supportive throughout his short reign.
“I would like to thank the United staff for making me feel so welcome and part of the United family from my first day.
“And of course thank you to those fans who have supported me throughout the season. I wish you and the club all the best for the future.”
Reigning Premier League champions United are seventh in the table with four games remaining and can no longer qualify for next season’s Champions League after a 2-0 defeat by Moyes’s former club Everton last weekend.
The Red Devils were also knocked out of the FA Cup by Swansea and the Capital One Cup by Sunderland but reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League where holders Bayern Munich prevailed with a 4-2 aggregate win.
But Moyes acknowledged that both performances and results “have not been what Manchester United and its fans are used to or expect”.
He added: “We were fully focused and committed to the process of the fundamental rebuilding that is required for the senior squad.
“This had to be achieved whilst delivering positive results in the Barclays Premier League and the Champions League.
“However, during this period of transition, performances and results have not been what Manchester United and its fans are used to or expect, and I both understand and share their frustration.
“In my short time at the club I have learnt what special places Old Trafford and Carrington are.”
Player-coach Giggs, 40, has been placed in interim charge until “a permanent appointment is made”, starting with Saturday’s Premier League clash with struggling Norwich.
Dutch national coach Louis van Gaal and Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp are among the favourites to take over in the summer.