Sam Allardyce has admitted he could not bear to watch England after losing his job as the national manager.
The Crystal Palace boss lasted just 67 days and one match in the job before leaving the role by mutual consent following a covert national newspaper sting.
Allardyce, who said he acted like a “f*****g idiot”, left the job two weeks before he would have led England out for his first match at Wembley, against Malta in October last year. It was a game he could not even bring himself to watch in the end.
He said in an interview published in the Times and the Daily Mail: “I couldn’t watch. I tried to. I maybe lasted 15, 20 minutes. But I couldn’t continue. I had to turn it off and watch something else.
“It was Wembley and I hadn’t even had the opportunity to get a game under my belt there. That would have been a big moment for me. It was a gut-wrencher, that.”
The former Sunderland, Bolton, West Ham and Newcastle boss was beaming with pride after landing the job with the Football Association and believed the time was right for him to take on the task.
He added: “I wasn’t just proud to be the England manager. I was ready. I felt comfortable being there.
“Our vision of changing St George’s Park because we were going to work from there. All my staff were going to work from there to make things better.
“And we made a good start, winning that first game in Slovakia. And then all of a sudden it was over. Apart from the last two they were very good days.”
Allardyce regrets mocking former England manager Roy Hodgson in the meetings with undercover reporters caught on camera but has yet to have the opportunity to apologise to his predecessor.
He said: “That was embarrassing for me. No doubt about that.
“I haven’t spoken to Roy. I made a decision not to call him because I thought it would be better to wait until I saw him, face to face. But I haven’t seen him yet. That will be the time to address it though. I’ll definitely do that.”
He took advice from Sir Alex Ferguson before jumping back into the game with the Eagles three months after losing the England job.
“Fergie invited me to a game,” Allardyce said. “He told me to get up and get back out there. He’s a man of great wisdom. The more people like that support you, the quicker you recover.
“The only thing I could do to help myself was jump back into the game. I needed to do it for my own rehabilitation.
“It was the only way I could try to put what had happened with England behind me. Otherwise I’d have been pondering too much. It would still be playing on my mind, simmering, seething.”