Bryan Robson suspects that his demise as manager of West Bromwich Albion owed more to his diminishing relationship with the club's board of directors than to results.
The former England international captain left the club "by mutual consent" on September 18, ostensibly because of the club's form since January 2006. Robson, however, believes otherwise.
"It came as a bit of a surprise because we were four points off the leaders in the table, we had had a lot of injury situations like Diomansy Kamara, Nathan Ellington and Curtis Davies," he said.
"In a sense, it was probably a little to do with the relationship between myself and the board from January, when I didn't get their backing in the transfer window with some of the players I wanted to sign."
Jeremy Peace, the Albion chairman, has still not announced who the new manager will be and has been unavailable to comment on suggestions that his relationship with Robson had deteriorated.
Peace will probably begin interviews next week and, among others, Steve Cotterill, Tony Mowbray, Steve Tilson and Alex McLeish are believed to be on the short list.
Perceptions remain, however, that Albion have not handled the matter well. The only man to have emerged with credit is Nigel Pearson, the caretaker manager, who led the team to a 4-2 victory against Leeds United last Saturday.
He has not applied for the position and might be too closely linked with the old regime to be a likely successor.
Robson, aged 49, is keen to return to football management, claiming he has already had offers from European clubs. The former England captain has also been linked with the vacancies at Norwich City and Leeds United.
"I'm really keen to get straight back into the game," Robson said. "I have had loads of offers from clubs in Europe.
"I feel, when it comes to a job situation, the people who are in charge know what you are like and it's whether they want you or not. With my track record at Middlesbrough and West Brom, if people want to get in touch, then I will listen."
Curtis Davies could be back in full training at the end of this week and is hoping to return to the first-team squad for the match at Ipswich Town on October 14.
The defender has been out of action since breaking a bone in a foot in the match away to Sunderland. He is working with a ball and could replace Paul McShane, who is suspended against Ipswich, at the heart of the back four.
"It is frustrating, not being able to kick a ball when you feel no pain, but I'm over it now," Davies said. "I'm just looking forward to training and the games. I think if there was a game this weekend, I may have been fit to play. The international break means I can take things a little bit more gradually in the build-up to the game."