Steve McClaren took full responsibility on Thursday for England's failure to qualify for Euro 2008 and said being sacked as manager was one of the saddest days of his career.
However, he vowed to bounce back from the disappointment.
"This is one of the saddest days of my career," he told a news conference. "Eighteen months ago was the proudest day of my career and I was honoured to be the England head coach and for 18 months I have enjoyed every minute.
"It is a sad day today to be relieved of my post, but I can understand the decision by the FA."
McClaren was speaking after the FA said they had sacked him and assistant coach Terry Venables following England's 3-2 defeat by Croatia at Wembley on Wednesday.
"I'll recover, I'll bounce back," added McClaren. "I'm not one to lay on the beach. I believe that after 18 months in this job I am a better manager...
"It's failure, but I'll learn from that and move on."
McClaren praised the players for their support and refused to hit back at his critics. He would not comment on any problems within the England structure.