Jimmy Bullard believes Phil Brown deserved the chance to see out the season with Hull.
Brown was sacked last week following a run of four successive defeats and with the Tigers entrenched in the bottom three. But the decision was still a surprise given Brown's achievements in his three and a half years with Hull and coming so close to the end of the season.
Asked whether Brown, who was quickly replaced by Iain Dowie, deserved more time, midfielder Bullard said: "I felt so, I really did."
In Brown's final match at the helm against Arsenal 10-man City looked set to hold on for a draw until a late mistake by Boaz Myhill.
"Coming after the Arsenal game as well, where I felt like we did really well, so it was a bit of a shock for me," said Bullard.
"I was surprised but it's happened to me before when Chris Coleman ended up leaving Fulham. I know in football it happens so frequently now. If you're down in that relegation zone or your team's on a bad run, the manager's getting put under serious amounts of pressure. Chairmen, owners, they want results.
"They're thinking, 'we can't change the players, can we change the manager?' That's the way it is. It's a horrible feeling but we've just got to get on with it.
Bullard admitted feeling a sense of responsibility for Brown's fate.
"We step on the pitch and, when your manager gets pushed out, you blame yourself," he added. "Obviously we haven't done enough to keep him here.
"I know he's a good man, and that's a big part of why I signed. Sod the football side, I liked him as a man."
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