Ruben Selles is disappointed he has not been retained as Southampton manager as he feels ready to lead the side despite overseeing tenuous relegation.
A flurry of poor decisions on and off the pitch brought a devastating end to the Saints’ 11-year tenure in the Premier League.
Ralph Hasenhuttl started the season in charge and was replaced by the controversial Nathan Jones, with the initial upswing under Selles quickly leveling off after he was handed the job for the remainder of the season.
Saints were relegated with two games to go and the club announced on Wednesday that the Spaniard’s contract “will not be renewed if it expires at the end of the season”.
Selles found that out on Monday and will take the lead for the last time against Liverpool on Sunday. Russell Martin will then come on as Southampton prepare for Championship life.
“Listen, I’ve done as much as I could, I perform here with you every weekend, I make sure the team stays competitive,” he said.
“We didn’t get the football and the results we expected.
“I think you saw an identity, you saw a team that wants to play together. We did not make it.
“I tried to do everything with that mentality every time and in that part I did my best and that’s the reality.” I can’t change the owners’ decision.
“I still think I’m ready but it’s not my job and yes my feeling at the moment is simply to get the best possible finish and get ready for the Liverpool game.
“And then we’ll think about something else on Monday.”
Selles joined the Saints from Copenhagen last summer as first-team head coach, assisting Hasenhüttl after a varied coaching career that had taken him from Spain to Russia and Azerbaijan.
But now the 39-year-old sees himself in England and hopes to remain at a high level as a coach there.
“Obviously I want to stay here and I want to stay at the highest level that I can stay at,” Selles said. “If it’s not the Premier League, it’s very close.
“My goal has always been to compete against the best and with the best.
“I’ve been doing that for the last three months and I want to be back here and find myself again as soon as possible.”
As Selles’ time at St Mary’s comes to an end on Sunday, attention turns to the new era under Martin’s forthcoming appointment.
The PA news agency understand the Swansea boss is on course to become Southampton’s head coach on a three-year deal.
“I’m just making my opinions about them all as a squad, as individual players,” Selles said of the squad Martin will take on.
“I don’t know who the new coach is. You may know this better than I do, but it really isn’t for me.
“I just told the club what I think. I said before this week what I think we need to do to rebuild the squad for the Championship or for the Premier League at this time if we stay.
“So they know my opinion, but they can do whatever they want with it.”