Ex-St Johnstone midfielder Jody Morris admits his Chelsea exit was “tough to take on all levels”.
Morris, 42, left his post as Stamford Bridge No2 on Monday after club legend Frank Lampard’s controversial sacking.
Lampard was replaced on Tuesday by former PSG and Borussia Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel.
Saying goodbye to Chelsea fans
Morris – who was Blues youth team coach before the duo’s spell at Derby in 2018/19 – posted an emotional farewell message to fans on Instagram.
He wrote: “It’s hurt twice previously that I’ve had to leave this great club, but it’s been on my terms and both times it was done with the bigger picture for myself and my family in mind.
“Yesterday was tough to take on all levels.
“I’ve always felt lucky to be able to say I’ve played for the team I’ve supported since I was a young boy growing up on North End Road.
“I am also immensely proud to say I’ve been next to our gaffer Frank Lampard, who has worked tirelessly to improve the players and the culture every single day.
“We, as your staff, couldn’t ask for a better leader!
“There has never been a bunch in that dugout that cared more inside Stamford Bridge!
“I’m even prouder of the work that has gone on day in day out at Cobham in what has been the toughest period anybody has had to face in charge.
“Thank you so much to the fans for the support I’ve had personally throughout. I am one of you.
‘Chelsea will always be my club’
“Thank you to Mr (Roman) Abramovich and Marina Granovskaia for allowing me to fulfil one of my dreams.
“Chelsea is and always will be my club no matter what.”
Morris’ post prompted messages of support from several well-known sporting figures, including Cesc Fabregas, Ally McCoist, Rio Ferdinand, Jamie Redknapp and Joe Calzaghe.
Former England and Real Madrid defender Jonathan Woodgate said: “You did a great job mate, you and Lamps.
“You should be so proud, especially giving all those young players a chance.
“You’ll be back soon where you belong – on that training pitch doing what you do best!”
Chelsea dismissed Lampard after a run of five losses in eight league games that left the Blues in ninth position.
He was widely praised for having faith in the club’s young players, including Mason Mount, Reece James, Tammy Abraham and Scotland starlet Billy Gilmour.