Victor Fernandez, who yesterday was sacked as coach of European champions Porto, said the decision to fire him had come as a surprise.

“The truth is I never imagined I would be sacked,” Fernandez told a Spanish radio station. “The good thing was that I didn’t suffer because it all happened so suddenly.

“I played a game that had two very different sides to it, when I started it we were leaders and when it ended I was fired.

“Porto are a team in the process of reconstruction, the squad has been completely renewed. Given all of that it seemed a really strange and surprising decision.”

The Spaniard signed a two-year contract with Porto in August after European Cup-winning coach Jose Mourinho’s replacement Liugi Del Neri was sacked less than two months into the job.

Porto have won only one of their last five home league matches and lost 3-1 to league leaders Braga on Sunday.

“Admittedly we played badly on Sunday, but from there to being sacked is a very big step and I was taken aback by the decision,” Fernandez said.

In a statement on the club’s official website said: “The minimum conditions were not met for Fernandez to remain as head of the coaching staff at FC Porto despite all the diligence demonstrated while he was at the club.”

Porto chairman Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa declined to speculate about the identity of a successor.

“At the appropriate time we will decide and when we have decided we will tell you,” Pinto da Costa said on SIC TV.

Reports in Portugal have tipped Vitoria Setubal coach Jose Couceiro as a possible replacement for Fernandez.