Chris Hughton has said he was “hugely disappointed and surprised” after he was sacked by Brighton at the end of the season.
Hughton, 60, was dismissed after four and a half years in charge, following the Seagulls’ 17th-place finish.
In their second season back in the Premier League he took the club to the FA Cup semi-final, but they won just three of their last 23 league games.
He has been replaced by Swansea boss Graham Potter.
Hughton, who joined Albion in December 2014, led the club to the Premier League for the first time in 2017, and they finished 15th in their first season back in the top flight.
Club chairman Tony Bloom said their form in the second half of this season “put our status at significant risk”, adding: “I now feel it’s the right time for a change.”
Brighton achieved Premier League safety with one game remaining when Cardiff, who finished two points behind them in 18th, were relegated on 4 May.
In a statement released by the League Managers Association, Hughton said: “I was hugely disappointed and surprised by the decision that was made to end my time with Brighton.”
LMA chief executive Richard Bevan added: “Chris’ impressive tenure has been inspirational for his peers in the game. He has helped transform Brighton from fighting relegation to League One, to competing with the best teams in the world and retaining Premier League status for yet another season.
“This season, he again proved his managerial ability in also leading his team to the semi-final of the FA Cup for only the second time in the club’s history.
“He continues to be a tremendous role model for young managers and coaches in the game.”