Andy Awford insists he was not aware his tenure as Pompey manager would be over if he failed to make the play-offs this season.
The former Blues boss has spoken publicly for the first time since his departure and remains convinced he would have been successful if he had been given more time in the role.
I was never told that it was the play-offs or bustAndy Awford
While it was a mutual decision, Awford has explained his targets were never outlined in black and white terms – after chairman Iain McInnes suggested the decision was based on missing out on the play-offs this season.
Awford said: ‘I was never told that it was the play-offs or bust.
‘I would not have signed the contract and taken the job if that had been the case.
‘I was aware that the board had a target of the play-offs but I wasn’t aware that it was a job-breaker if we didn’t get there.
‘I think there is a difference.
‘Obviously, I wanted to get into the play-offs but I didn’t think it was possible.
‘I thought it was unrealistic this season.
‘Iain (McInnes) said I was conveniently vague about the target.
‘I was aware of it but it was never put to me that I would lose my job if we didn’t get there.’
Awford has yet to discuss the possibility of returning to Fratton Park in another capacity but is open to the offer, as well as exploring other opportunities elsewhere in the game.
He said: ‘It’s in the club’s court. I am open to that offer.
‘How we have left it is fine between myself and Iain.
‘I have got no axe to grind with him or anybody else.
‘I want the club to succeed with or without me.’