Sacked Everton manager Roberto Martinez still believes he could have reversed the Toffees' fortunes had he remained in charge to direct a "significantly important" recruitment drive this summer.
Martinez's three-year Everton tenure ended on Thursday after a disappointing league campaign that was compounded by the 3-0 midweek defeat at Sunderland.
Everton's board felt left with little choice but to remove Martinez after just one win in 10 matches in all competitions, with the likes of Frank De Boer and Ronald Koeman touted as the Spaniard's successor.
"It has been an honour to be the manager of Everton Football Club for the past three seasons," said Martinez in a statement released through the League Managers' Association.
"I am clearly disappointed that we won't be able to finish what we started and I feel that the forthcoming transfer window would have been significantly important for many reasons.
"I will treasure this period as Everton manager forever - the memories of reaching a club record 72 points tally in the Premier League, reaching the final 16 of the Europa League and the excitement of reaching the semi-finals of both domestic cups this season.
"I appreciate that over the last eight weeks our league results haven't been up to the levels that we would expect.
"However, over the past three years the support the fans have given to me and the team has been inspiring."
Billionaire Farhad Moshiri bought a majority 49.9 per cent stake in Everton earlier this year, building hopes for a brighter future ahead.
In lamenting his inability to drive the club forward, Martinez gave thanks for his three years at the helm.
"I express my gratitude to chairman Bill Kenwright, who understood and supported my vision and who gave me the privilege of becoming an Evertonian," said Martinez.
"My sincere thanks also go to my players who have been an inspiration to work with, my assistant Graeme Jones, the Everton Board and all of the staff who work for this magnificent club, especially those at Everton's Finch Farm training ground for their tireless help and support on a daily basis.
"I know that the team and the fans will react well against Norwich today and I wish everyone the best of luck for three points which would match last season's league points tally.
"Finally I would like to congratulate Tim Howard on his outstanding contribution and career at the club. Tim has been an incredible ambassador for Everton and I wish him well for his future in the MLS."
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