Justin Holbrook admitted he feels “a bit selfish” about leaving St Helens at a time when the club is flying.
On Wednesday, it was announced that the Australian coach will leave the club at the end of the season to take up a two-year contract to be head coach of NRL side Gold Coast Titans.
Holbrook insists he has enjoyed “every single minute” of his time at St Helens after what has been an emotional couple of days.
Speaking after Saints’ 26-6 win over Wakefield on Friday, Holbrook said: “I’m trying not to make it about me but it has been a very tough week for myself and I’m really proud of the players tonight.
“It was always going to get sorted this week so it is good for everybody that it is done now. I love the fans, they mean a lot to me and our team. We are having a really good year and I’m enjoying it.
“All I wanted to do when I came was to do the best that I could and for the team to play the best as they can.
“We are going well this year but we all know that we fell short last year so we are doing our best to go further this time.”
Holbrook guided Saints to the League Leaders’ Shield in his first full season with the club in 2018, and they are currently 12 points clear at the top of Super League.
They face Warrington in the Challenge Cup final at Wembley and are on course for the treble this term.
He added: “I’ve enjoyed every minute of my time here and I’ve said that all along.
“It was a really tough decision to leave when everyone is happy and everything is going well but I said to the players that when everyone is going well – that is the only time I would get to leave because if we are not going well then I’m not going to have an opportunity.
“I do feel a bit selfish about that so it has been difficult.
“The NRL is a place where I want to coach but I want to make it clear that I have loved every minute here and I just want to enjoy the rest of this year.”
Holbrook confirmed Regan Grace and Jonny Lomax will return to face Warrington next Thursday, while Lachlan Coote and Morgan Knowles will be not be fit enough to play.