Neill Collins says he ‘cannot express how disappointed I was to be relieved of my duties’ by Barnsley last month - in his first official statement since his sacking.

The Scotsman was fired with one game left in the League One season when the Reds were fifth. After a reported failed attempt to bring in Austrian Dominik Thalhammer, Collins’ former assistant Martin Devaney was in charge for the play-offs in which they lost 5-4 to Bolton Wanderers last week.

Collins said in a statement: “It was a tremendous honor to be chosen head coach at Barnsley FC little under a year ago. Bringing my family back to the UK after seven amazing years in the United States, as well as leaving a club that had become near to my heart, was not an easy decision. However, the opportunity to advance my coaching career at a club with such a rich history and culture was one I could not refuse.

“I cannot express how disappointed I was to be relieved of my duties with one game remaining in the season and the club sitting fifth in the table; however, I am extremely proud of the work the players and staff put in this season, and I believe we earned the opportunity to work together to achieve our goal of promotion.

“I’d want to thank the players and staff for their hard work and support throughout my stay at the club.

“I threw my heart and everything into the job from the day I arrived and learnt so much throughout my time at Barnsley. I’m looking forward to spending time with my family and preparing for the next challenge, whatever that may be.”

Barnsley are still looking for Collins' replacement and are thought to be in contact with several candidates. They are thought to have considered their previous boss Michael Duff but he is now being heavily linked with Huddersfield Town.