EXCLUSIVE: Skipper Gary Mills has no hard feelings over Lincoln City exit
Gary Mills revealed his exit from Lincoln City was already under way before Gary Simpson was appointed manager as he insisted he had no hard feelings over his exit.
The Imps skipper left the club by mutual consent this morning meaning he is now free to concentrate on his rehabilitation from a long-standing knee injury.
Mills, who has been sidelined since late December, said the seeds of his departure were sewn a week last Sunday, when he was told the club wanted talks over his future by a director.
The midfielder, who is out of contract in the summer, could not disclose the reasons why he was summoned, but said he held no grudges.
"I've no hard feelings," he said. "Gary Simpson has had nothing to do with it. It was already on the cards before he arrived.
"After the Barrow game, I got a call on the Sunday telling me the club wanted to talk to me about my future.
"I met the chairman on Friday and sat down with him and he was as good as gold. I've a lot of respect for him. He had the balls to sit down and look in to the whites of my eyes and tell me what was what rather than do it by text or phone.
"It was not my decision to leave. The club told me their reasons, but I didn't agree. Either way, it was best for both parties that we parted company.
"There's no issue with me. It's football. It happens. I don't regret coming here. It's a great club and only one of the few I would have left Nuneaton for.
"I had some good times under David Holdsworth especially the run we went on before Christmas."
Lincoln were on 30 points when Mills damaged his ligaments in the 1-1 draw against Gateshead on December 29.
Since then they have only picked up seven more having faced accusations by some fans that he has contributed little.
Asked what kind of dressing room he leaves behind, Mills said: "It's a fantastic dressing room. Someone Tweeted me to say it was arguably the worst team in the club's history.
"Frankly, I thought that was a disgrace. What the lads put in on a daily basis is unbelievable. You have to remember, we are not a Mansfield who have players on £1,300 - £1,400 a week and sitting in the stands.
"We have lads on less than £500, but they always, always, give 100 per cent for the club. We have to get by on effort, spirit and endeavour and we do. The lads are different class.
"I'll take a bet with anyone that they stay up and if someone fancies a little flutter come and find me on my @garymills10 account, I'll gladly have one with them.
"I think a few of the fans had a pop at me for not contributing, but fact remains the team has only picked up seven more points than when I came out of it. I must have been doing something right.
"People may not like the fact that I am outspoken, but that's how I am. If I see something wrong or don't agree I will speak my mind. I'll do it face to face rather than be a snake."