Barry Ferguson said an emotional goodbye to Blackpool after confirming a stage of his career he’ll “never forget” was now at an end.
The former Scotland captain spent the past three seasons at Bloomfield Road, the final 20 games as stand-in manager following Paul Ince’s sacking in January.
The 36-year-old’s contract expires this summer and he won’t be returning to the club as a player or permanent manager, but Ferguson confirmed he wouldn’t change his time at the club.
“I’ve loved my spell here as manager,” Ferguson told The Gazette. “I was told by a few people I must be crazy to take that job on at Blackpool but I’ve loved every single minute.
“I haven’t got a bad thing to say about Blackpool in terms of the people round about the club. I’ll always be grateful to Blackpool for giving me my first opportunity.”
Pool started their hunt for a new manager this week and chairman Karl Oyston is expected to speak to a couple of targets today, having been turned down by Dundee United boss Jackie McNamara.
Oyston said last night: “We need a full-time manager after Barry very kindly took over as a caretaker for us.
“I think we probably need to go a different way than we have over the past few years and look at all our options, which is what we’re doing. We are making steady progress.”
While Oyston favours an experienced boss, it’s believed at least one of those he has spoken to is from overseas.
And if any of the candidates ask Ferguson’s advice, he would tell them of his fond memories of Bloomfield Road.
He added: “I’ve become pretty close to this club and it was emotional after the game on Saturday.
“I don’t have a bad word to say about this club. One thing’s for sure, I have very fond memories of this place and I’ve met a lot of good people.
“I was proud to take charge of this club and I’m proud we got over the line.”
In his column in Scottish newspaper the Daily Record, Ferguson added: “I could see why the job might interest an ambitious young manager.
“It’s a great club, with a terrific stadium and superb fans. What it needs now is investment.
“That’s why the supporters have a problem with the chairman.
“We were getting crowds of 13,000-14,000 every second week, so they have a right to make demands.
“I left as I felt it would be better for someone fresh to come into the job.
“There are only five players contracted for next season (Tom Barkhuizen has now become the sixth), so any new manager is going to need a few quid to build a team.”