PAUL KEE insists he bears no grudges towards Institute Football Club despite being sacked by the Drumahoe club last Monday night after a four year tenure.
Kee had guided ‘Stute to the Irish Premiership after being crowned Irish Championship winners last season.
However, an amazing run of 25 league games without victory meant a quick-fire return to the Championship One which forced the hand of the club’s Management Committee who then took the decision to sack Kee.
Having limped out of the Premier Division season last Saturday at the Coleraine Showgrounds on the back of another defeat, the “Sky Blues” finished tailed off in the basement position, nine points adrift of second from bottom, Warrenpoint Town, and the signs were ominous for Kee.
Kee claims he refused to resign at the request of the club Committee but insists there is no bad blood despite the decision to fire him as he wished the players all the best in the future.
“As we’re all aware we are in a result driven business and we hadn’t won a league game in 25, so yes, I could see this decision was coming,” Kee admitted.
“I was asked on Monday night to resign but I declined as I felt there is still work to be done. But I’m obviously disappointed to be sacked,” he added.
And Kee is optimistic about the future of the club which he feels have benefited from their latest Premiership experience.
“The club is left in a fairly good position with some very good young players so it’s important these players are given time in the near future to develop.
“Yes, I know mistakes have happened but these mistakes are possible because of the position we find ourselves in, a young inexperienced squad in Premiership terms, the team was on a learning curve.”
The Drumahoe native added that promotion came at a cost for the Riverside Stadium club and perhaps proved a step too far.
“Maybe the promotion last year was a tad too early for us but we’ve had a blast this season and a lot of people have benefited from the Premiership experience.
“The loss of key players did play its part but ultimately as manager the buck stops with me.
“I’d like to thank the staff this season who have worked tirelessly to improve results.
“I’d also like to thank the players for their effort and dedication over the season and thank supporters for all their help over the last four years,” he concluded.