Kenny Dalglish admitted he was bitterly disappointed to be leaving Liverpool for a second time as manager, following Fenway Sports Group's decision to sack him on Wednesday, but thanked the Anfield owners for the way his departure had been handled.
The 61-year-old paid tribute to his Anfield staff for all the help they have given him over the past 16 months, and sent a positive message to the club's supporters, who have stuck by him through thick and thin.
"It has been an honour and a privilege to have had the chance to come back to Liverpool Football Club as manager," Dalglish told Liverpoolfc.tv. "I greatly appreciate the work that Steve [Clarke], Kevin [Keen], the players and all of the staff put in during my time and feel proud that we delivered the Club's first trophy in six years winning the Carling Cup and came close to a second trophy in the FA Cup Final.
"Of course I am disappointed with results in the league, but I would not have swapped the Carling Cup win for anything as I know how much it meant to our fans and the Club to be back winning trophies.
"Whilst I am obviously disappointed to be leaving the football club, I can say that the matter has been handled by the owners and all concerned in an honourable, respectful and dignified way and reflects on the quality of the people involved and their continued desire to move the football club forward in the same way as when they arrived here."
Dalglish spoke of the pride he has felt at leading Liverpool, and explained that the opportunity to return 'home' will always hold a special place in his heart.
"I would like to thank all of the staff at the club for their effort and loyalty," he continued. "I said when first approached about coming back as manager that I would always be of help if I can at any time and that offer remains the same.
"Finally, I want to put on record my heartfelt gratitude to Liverpool's fans, who have always given me and the club their unwavering support. Without them neither the club nor I would have achieved anything."
Andre Villas-Boas is the current bookmakers favourite to take over at Anfield, with Wigan manager Roberto Martinez, Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers, and Borussia Dortmund head coach Jurgen Klopp also believed to be on FSG's shortlist.
Having spent big last summer in a bid to orchestrate a return to the Champions League, whoever takes over will be under pressure to deliver a swift upturn in Premier League form.
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