Harry Redknapp has said he will hold his head up high when he returns to Portsmouth today to take a final bow in front of the city before saying goodbye.
Days after the shock announcement about his departure for Tottenham the ex-manager said he would be proud to return and accept an honour for his success at Pompey.
Redknapp – pictured – told The News he will definitely arrive in person to collect the Freedom of the City – the highest honour Portsmouth can bestow – at a glittering ceremony at the Guildhall.
His assurance came amid widespread doubts he would appear after his shock switch to Spurs at the weekend.
He said: 'I think I can come back with my head held high knowing what I have done for the club.
'I've gone away leaving them in the best position they have been in for 50 years so I don't think I have done absolutely anything wrong.
'I had an opportunity, and having discussed it with Peter Storrie over the weekend I decided it was the best thing.
'It was a good move for me and it was a good deal for the club.'
He said he would be proud to accept the honour on behalf of the squad for their FA Cup success.
'It is an honour for what I have done,' he said.
'I have had a great time, I have absolutely loved my time at Portsmouth. The first time I left I got pushed out so people can't say I walked away twice.
'This time it was an opportunity I could not turn down.
'People leave jobs every week in football. There is no doubt I will miss Portsmouth, and I will definitely be there (today] and be proud about it.'
The 61-year-old has been praised for plucking up courage to face fans one last time after his hasty departure.
But council leaders say today's ceremony, which should have been a celebration of the club's success, admit his move to Spurs will change the atmosphere of the event.
Council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson said: 'I think he needs to say goodbye, not only to the team but also to the city, and this is a fitting way to do that. But it will be a sad day.'
He added: 'I am pleased he will be there, but I don't think there is anyone who would not wish he was not collecting the honour and then leaving.'
Portsmouth City Council members decided to give Harry and the FA Cup-winning squad the Freedom of the City as a mark of honour for their footballing success this year.
Tony Goodall, from Pompey Independent Supporters' Association, said he should be welcomed back to the city.
'This is Harry doing the decent thing and not snubbing Portsmouth,' he said. 'This is an honour from the city of Portsmouth and it would have been ill-mannered not to attend, and he has got manners and decency.
'I think the problem was the speed at which he has gone, and now this is an opportunity to thank his players and thank the people of Portsmouth.'
The ceremony was set to take place today as planned.
Labour leader Jim Patey said: 'I think Harry will be feeling a great deal of trepidation about it. But he is not one to walk away without giving an explanation. He is a courageous man who has been through a lot and I have the greatest respect for him.
'He was given an offer from one of the great London clubs and you can't blame him for taking that.
'At least we had the advantage of his magic – that man spins magic wherever he goes, and he will always be part of our folklore.
'I am delighted he will be at the ceremony so we can show our respect for all he has done for us.'
Cllr Alistair Thompson, deputy Tory leader, added: 'We don't give out Freedom of the City out like Smarties – it is the highest honour the city can bestow and it is a recognition of his fantastic service as a manager of Portsmouth, that is why he should be there.
'It is regrettable that he decided to go, particularly just the weekend before, and I think it will subdue the event – it will be less of a celebration.
'But I will be remembering all the good times we had with him as manager rather than his decision to go, and I would think a lot of the fans will be doing the same.'