Chris Wilder admits his exit from Oxford United may have left a ‘sour’ taste at the Kassam Stadium.
But he believes he did a creditable job at the club and looks back on his time there with real fondness.
Wilder will go back to the Kassam Stadium on Tuesday night for the first time since leaving for Cobblers in January 2014.
He had been in charge of the U’s from 2008 and got them promoted to the Football League two years later.
He came close to getting the club into the league two play-offs, but having only been given a one-year deal in April 2013, made the move to Sixfields eight months later on a three-and-a-half-year deal.
And ahead of his Oxford return, Wilder said: “There’s no getting away from the fact it’s my first time back and when you’re at a football club for that amount of time, you’re going to have some periods where it doesn’t go well.
“I’m maybe disappointed with the way it finished but for the majority of the time it was a fantastic time for myself, the team and the club.
“From the position it was in to the position it was left in, it improved and I’ll have great memories of my time there.
“I met some fantastic football people and if people want to judge my period in there, there’d be mixed views.
“But if you speak to proper football people, people who have been at the coalface of that club - the likes of the chairman at the time, Kelvin Thomas, Jim Rosenthal and Jim Smith - I think I can look back on my time with a lot of pride.
“I loved working for that football club and I had some great days and great times that will always stick with me wherever I work.”
And when asked whether he felt he got enough appreciation for the job that he did at Oxford, Wilder replied: “I can’t determine or dictate what other people think about me and they might feel a little bit sour the way I left, but you rarely leave a football club on very good terms.
“But I’ve got to look at it from a football point of view and if people do that in a sensible way, they will look at that period of that football club with a decent amount of fondness of what we tried to bring.
“We worked extremely hard to bring success and a bit of enjoyment to that football club at the time.”