Ian Baraclough has described himself as "deeply saddened" following his sacking as Scunthorpe manager and says he was confident he could have guided the club to safety.
Baraclough was axed at Glanford Park following Tuesday night's 3-0 defeat at home to Preston, which left the Iron in the bottom three of the npower Championship and four points from safety.
Yet Baraclough said: "This season has proved very demanding given the club sold a number of key players during the close season and it was always going to be difficult to improve on the 20th place finish of last season."
He added: "Losing Gary Hooper, the club's top scorer in the past two seasons, Paul Hayes and Marcus Williams, as well as other key players including Martyn Woolford, Matt Sparrow and Grant McCann, made the task of holding our own in a competitive Championship increasingly hard.
"However, with recent key victories over Nottingham Forest, Swansea City and Sheffield United combined with great performances in those matches, the coaching staff and I were confident we could stay up.
"I am deeply saddened to be leaving and that Kevin Pressman and Steve Parkin are going with me. I have many very happy memories of my time at Scunthorpe and I wish everyone connected with the club all the best for the future."
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