Tottenham goalkeeper Brad Friedel believes Tim Sherwood can be proud of his efforts after leaving his role as head coach.
Spurs' Premier League run-in was consistently clouded by talk regarding the future of Sherwood, who eventually departed his post on Tuesday when the club exercised a break clause in his contract.
Although many people outside White Hart Lane saw it coming, Friedel - who only made one league appearance in the 2013-14 campaign - said Sherwood's exit was not expected among the playing group.
"To us players Tim's sacking was never inevitable," Friedel told BBC Radio 5Live. "I thought Tim, especially in his first managerial job, conducted himself very well. He wears his heart on his sleeve. He was asked to take control on an interim basis (after the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas in December) with players who weren't necessarily his and I think he did really well.
"What transpires in the board room, players aren't privy to, much of the time, but I think Tim can walk away from this with his head held high. I don't know when they made the decision (to fire him) but every business would start getting their ideas in a row and start sounding people out.
"As far as how Tim handled everything (people touting for his job), it probably wasn't easy and I'm sure at times he probably wanted to say more than he actually did, but in his first managerial job at a club as big as Tottenham, I think he did extremely well."
Former USA international Friedel said he would recommend Sherwood, 45, to other top-flight clubs in England.
"Yes, I think he's good enough to do the job in the Premier League, whether with Tottenham or somebody else," he said. "I think he has a great future ahead of him, as do (assistants) Les Ferdinand and Chris Ramsey, who I'm sure he will have on his staff if he's fortunate enough to get another job."