STUART McCall admitted he deserved the sack and a medal after his City exit.

McCall was axed early this morning by chairman Edin Rahic after a run of six straight defeats.

Speaking for the first time since losing his job, the former Bantams boss said he could understand why the decision was made - even though he leaves the club still in a play-off place.

He said: "When I got the text this morning to come in a bit earlier, I had a slight inkling what was going to happen.

“I’m obviously very disappointed but not surprised. When you’ve had a month like we’ve had and lost six on the bounce, then it leaves you open to being sacked.

“We’ve had one horrible month after 18 months of progression and improvement, getting to Wembley and having more points after the Fleetwood game than the same time last season.

“For lots of different reasons, January was really difficult.

“Yes, we’re in a rotten bit of form. Did I deserve the sack for this last month? Yes.

“But I probably deserve a medal for the previous 17 months with the trials and tribulations!

“When I left last time, I left with a real despondency. But I genuinely feel I can leave this time with my head held high."

McCall insisted he does not hold the players responsible - and believes they will halt the current slump by beating Bury at Valley Parade on Saturday.

“What I said after the Oldham game was from my heart," he added. "Every player from the squad has been in to see me.

“They all believe we will win this Saturday. Somebody had told me this morning that the players had let me down – they certainly haven’t done that for 18 months.

“Did we punch above our weight? I’ll have to honestly say yes.

“The one game I felt let down this season was against Rotherham. Wimbledon was a catalogue of individual errors and Saturday was a lack of quality.

“I’m disappointed because the players that eventually came in, allied with the good ones coming back into the squad, will give the squad a much stronger look."

McCall was told his fate at 8.30am in a meeting with Rahic. But he was upset to see it appeared as breaking news on TV before he had chance to tell the players.

He said: “That probably disappointed me more than what had happened half an hour earlier.

“But it isn’t the time and place now for looking back. Everyone’s got to unite to get a real positive result for this Saturday.

“I wish all the players, the staff and the fans all the luck in the world and thank them for their fantastic support.”