Hope Powell says she did not expect to lose her job as England women's head coach after a disappointing performance at Euro 2013.
Asked if she knew a bad tournament would put her job in danger, Powell told BBC Breakfast. "No, to be honest."
She added: "We just didn't perform. It was not through lack of effort on the players' part."
Powell, who had been in charge of England since 1998, guided the national team to the runners-up spot at Euro 2009, and the World Cup quarter-final two years later.
They were considered one of the favourites for this summer's Euros in Sweden but managed to pick up just one point from three games, losing to Spain and France and drawing with Russia.
She said: "I think everybody gave 100% as we always did but when it came to the games we just didn't perform and we have to accept that."
Powell said she has accepted the Football Association's decision to sack her and plans to take some time out from the game before pursuing other opportunities.
She said: "I am disappointed, but I have accepted it and have to move on.
"I need some time to recharge and see what opportunities come up."
Assistant coach Brent Hills has taken charge of the England team while the FA considers who to appoint as successor to Powell.
New York Fury coach Paul Riley has expressed an interest in the position.
The 49-year-old, from Liverpool, has been coaching in the United States since 1998. His Fury side play in the Women's Premier Soccer League Elite, the top division of women's football in the States.
Riley told BBC Sport: "People always ask me should it be a male or female coach but I always say it should be the best person for the job - the one with the most experience and the one who could get the best out of the players.
"I would love to have the England job. I think it is one of the top jobs in the world."