Andy Morrison has opened up on his decision to step down as manager of Connah’s Quay Nomads boss after leading the club to successive Cymru Premier titles and into Europe six seasons in a row.

Morrison’s assistant Craig Harrison took charge of the Nomads for the first time last Saturday having succeeded the former Manchester City defender in the Deeside Stadium hotseat.

Under Morrison, the Nomads also won the Welsh Cup, League Cup and reached the final of the Scottish Challenge Cup, losing to Ross County in the 51-year-old’s hometown of Inverness in 2019.

His departure, just six games into the new campaign, came as a surprise to many, but Morrison felt it was the right time to bid farewell to the club he had managed for six years.

“After speaking with people and the chairman, we obviously had Champions League games to play and I don’t know whether I’ll be managing in the Champions League again in my career – those chances don’t come along very often – so we wanted to stay and get through that,” he said.

“We carried on through Europe, and we did so well considering the Covid and injuries that we had.

“We played Alashkert, who are in the (Europa Conference League) group stages, and we were six minutes from a penalty shootout against them.

“That was terrific but then the season started and going into the first game we had one substitute and seven or eight players missing and it never seemed the right time (to leave).

“We safely navigated what could have been two banana skins in the cups and the squad is back fit and everybody’s available now, so it felt like the right time to let somebody else pick up where I leave off, and I wish Craig all the very best going forward.”

Morrison, whose playing career included spells at Plymouth Argyle, Blackpool and Huddersfield Town, says he needed a break from football and the demands of management.

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“I think it gets lost sometimes on people how hard it is,” Morrison told BBC Radio Wales Sport.

“It’s six years of European football, now that has been finishing mid-May and starting again on June 1, and during that period you’re never away from football, you’re planning your pre-season, arranging games, re-signing players and it’s just relentless.

“So, for six years, having to continually do that is taxing and asks a lot of people.

“Yes, there’s a lot of support there and from your assistants, but it’s a tough ask, year after year, and you just need a period of time to sit back, reflect on what you’ve achieved, and then look at your goals going forward and where you’d like to go next.”

He added: “You need to recharge your batteries, but because you have high standards you’re obliged with signing a contract, the demands are put on you to be the best you can be and, like I said, it’s year after year of that commitment and those levels.

“I think any human being needs to have a have a break and the opportunity to first of all acknowledge the success they’ve had but also be able to think where you can go next and just breathe and look at things from a different angle, and that’s what I intend to do.

“Whatever level of football you’re at, whether you’re struggling at the bottom of the league or whether you’re trying to get into the playoffs or trying to win the league, the pressure comes on everyone.

“For managers, whose remit is to try and stay in the league, there’s this huge pressure to do that, so it comes in many forms, but for me it was the right time.

"And I knew straight away, within two days of making a decision, that it was the right decision, just the way I felt physically or mentally, and the lightness in my mood told me that I’d made the right decision.”