Sacked Oxford United boss Darren Patterson feels he was “so close” to bringing the club success.

And he admitted being angry and frustrated that he wasn’t given just a bit more time to prove it.

Patterson feels chairman Kelvin Thomas’s decision to axe him on the last day of November was too hasty.

He said that, with the suspensions and injuries that have rocked the team this season, everything that could have gone wrong did, and he had lined up players who would have strengthened the team, but who he couldn’t bring in.

Overall, though, Patterson says he had a fantastic time at Oxford and he fervently hopes they can bounce back and become a Football League club again.

He said: “I’ve had eight great years at Oxford United. It’s a fantastic football club and it’s been an honour to be there for that time.

“The last eight years I’ve put my heart and soul into everything I’ve done at the club – as player, youth-team coach, caretaker manager, assistant manager and manager.

“I’ve put everything into it, to the detriment of my family. When I first started out coaching here I was actually losing money!

“I’ve been very loyal. I’ve turned down lots of jobs in the time I’ve been here. I just think that loyalty deserved a little bit longer, just a bit more time to see things through.

“I’m really gutted that I wasn’t given until January. I understand it’s a results business, but I believe we could have turned the away form around. We were so close.

“It doesn’t work chopping and changing time and again.

“Look at Brian Laws at Hillsborough. The fans were having a real go at him in his first season, and last season. But the club stuck with him and 2½ years later, look where they are now” (three points off a play-off place in the Championship).

Patterson passed on his thanks to everyone involved at United, and says he wants to get back into football at the earliest opportunity – although he has turned down Setanta’s request to be a studio guest at tomorrow’s match between Mansfield and the U’s.

“I’d like to thank everybody I’ve worked with, the players, staff and some special people behind the scenes.

“I’ve been humbled by the support from supporters from Day 1. I understand why they had a go at me. I think the fans have been brilliant – they are the best in the country.

“I’m proud of what I’ve done in developing players to help finances, to develop and coach reserve-team players and in twice stepping in as caretaker manager.

“The second time, I truly believe – in fact I’m convinced – we wouldn’t have been relegated from the Football League had I stayed on. I had good players lined up to come in.”

Patterson added: “I’d like to thank Nick Merry and Jim Smith for the dignified way they treated me when they came in.

“The timing of me getting the job was a shambles – I should have got it two or three years earlier!

“Last season I took over in difficult times, we turned it aro-und and ended the season with a lot of hope and pride. Pre-season went very well and I do understand things haven’t gone well, but everything that could have gone wrong, has gone wrong.

“None of all this leads me to doubt the potential and qualities I have. I think I’ve got the qualities to manage at big clubs, because big clubs don’t frighten me.

“I admit not everything I’ve done has been right. In hindsight, there are one or two things I might have done differently, but I’m young. No manager has ever done the right thing all the time.

“I’m hopeful of getting another opportunity and want to get back soon. I don’t particularly want a break!”

Patterson asks the fans to get right behind the club.

“I think the people at the top are the right people at the football club and I urge everybody to stay behind them and stick behind the players.

“But I urge those upstairs to give the new person time. The quick fix does not work.”