Andy Ritchie has spoken for the first time since his dismissal by Barnsley, admitting he would have liked a chance to turn the club's fortunes around.
Ritchie's relations with Shepherd appeared to sour
Ritchie's sacking came just weeks after the Tykes rejected an approach from Sheffield Wednesday for his services.
But, with the club lying second from bottom in the Championship and talks over a new deal breaking down, chairman Gordon Shepherd decided to act.
Ritchie said: "I felt I could have turned the club's fortunes around."
Andy has a promotion under his belt, and there are many managers who do not have that
He added: ""I am disappointed, however I am proud of what was achieved last season in Barnsley FC gaining promotion to the Championship.
"May I place on record my thanks to the chairman and the board for their support during my time at Oakwell, and also to the players and supporters for their commitment and loyalty throughout my time as manager."
Meanwhile, Mick McGuire, the deputy chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, has backed Ritchie to return to management.
"Andy has a promotion under his belt, and there are many managers who do not have that," he said.
"He would have liked to have been given the chance to finish the job at Barnsley, by stabilising this season and bouncing back.
"He can hold his head high when he reflects on what he achieved there."