Neil McCann will depart Caley Thistle with a heavy heart following his stint as interim manager.
McCann confirmed last week he would step down following Friday’s 2-2 draw against Ayr United, having temporarily taken charge of Inverness since manager John Robertson took compassionate leave in February.
In McCann’s 16 matches in charge, Inverness recorded six wins and six draws, which kept them in contention for the promotion play-offs until the penultimate game of the season.
The former Dundee manager says the bond he struck up with the players during his short tenure will make it difficult to part ways with the Highlanders.
He said: “It’s not easy to walk away. I’m an emotional guy, and you get attached to the job and the players right away.
“Hopefully everybody has seen that. Although it’s not my side, when I take something up, I give it 100% and I’m totally invested in it – I maybe got over-invested against Hearts.
“I just love the place. It’s sad that I’ve had my last game and last training session and now I’ll be coming away.
“If I have made boys better, and people think I have done a good job that is the most important thing.”
After taking up the role, McCann stressed he was “only keeping John’s seat warm” during the absence of his former team-mate, with the pair having been part of Hearts’ Scottish Cup winning squad in 1998.
McCann acknowledges the circumstances in which he temporarily stood in for Robertson were challenging, however, he was thrilled with the way Caley Jags’ players responded to the unforeseen change.
He added: “Generally a new manager comes in under very different circumstances, where one manager has lost his job.
“This was very unique in the fact that the manager was still in place, but he had to take a step back.
“It was maybe a wee bit more difficult, because it was very short term and I was working with another man’s side who is going to take back over.
“I had to find out relatively quickly what kind of players and personalities I had.
“I had help, but you need to make your own mind up and figure out what kind of instructions they can take, and get them going as much as I could playing how I wanted to play.
“I can’t play how John wanted to play, because he is his own man with his own ideas.”
McCann has no imminent plans to return to management, having worked as a television pundit prior to his short-term switch to the Highlands.
The 46-year-old has enrolled in a psychology degree, which he hopes will be of help to him should he find himself back in the dugout.
He added: “It’s a psychology degree, which will develop into sport.
“I left school a long time ago. It has not been easy, but I have enjoyed it.
“I have tried to squeeze things into my time. Full-time management is an all-consuming job.
“I have been working on a lot of stuff. Meeting my deadlines for assignments has been tough, I have had a few extensions on those, but I have managed.
“As I have said many times, and many great managers have said in the past, psychology goes hand-in-hand with football management.
“I have given myself some extra experience, that’s for sure.
“There are a few case studies, but I only have to look in a mirror and I have a cracker right here.
“I have some work to do on myself yet.”