Steve McClaren believes he can still manage at the top level despite a disappointing end to his reign as England manager.
McClaren won the Carling Cup in charge of Middlesbrough
McClaren was sacked after failing to guide England to Euro 2008 following a 3-2 defeat to Croatia at Wembley.
But the 46-year-old is confident of a return to top-flight management in the near future.
"For the first time in my life I am out of work. But I think I can go into the level I was before," he said.
"I've worked with England and Manchester United. I've won a trophy and had European football with Middlesbrough.
"I've been working with top players, at Premiership level, for many years."
I take massive heart from Sven and the way he's bounced back
Before England, McClaren spent five years in charge of Middlesbrough and guided them to the Carling Cup, their first major trophy, as well as taking them to the final of the Uefa Cup.
And after seeing the start his England predecessor Sven-Goran Eriksson has made at Manchester City, leading them to fourth in the Premier League, McClaren is already planning for his next job in club management.
"What I want to be is ready for the next challenge. That is something that Sven did very well in his year out of the game," he said.
"He identified the players he would want when he got another job.
"I take massive heart from Sven and the way he's bounced back. I had great success previously and I know that I am not a bad manager."
McClaren has also defended the use of an umbrella in that rain-soaked defeat to Croatia that led to a torrent of "wally with a brolly" headlines.
"It was lashing down and the only way I could take notes was to have some protection so that's why I had it," McClaren said.
"I'd never needed a brolly before, because I've always had a dug-out or a directors' box or somewhere covered, like at the front of the tunnel."