Birmingham manager Chris Hughton believes Andre Villas-Boas was not given enough time to prove himself at Chelsea.
Hughton was expecting to go head-to-head with the Portuguese boss in the FA Cup fourth-round replay at St Andrew's on Tuesday night.
But Villas-Boas was sacked on Sunday following a 1-0 defeat to West Bromwich Albion, which left the club 20 points off the top of the Premier League.
He only took over the club during the summer after Chelsea had paid a fee to Porto to speak to the 34-year-old.
But, despite their indifferent form, Hughton feels it was a harsh decision to relieve him of his duties.
Hughton said: "I think it (eight months) is no time for a manager.
"It's a club very much going through a transitional period and I felt he needed time to finish the job he wanted to complete.
"Is it embarrassing for Chelsea? It's their choice on what percentage of managers they want to go through.
"I think these days we can be critical of foreign managers that don't speak the language so well, but he is a real student of the game, he speaks English very well and has got his coaching qualifications on these shores.
"They obviously viewed him as someone for the future but, in that event, you have to give them time to develop.
"But, of course, at the top clubs that becomes difficult because the pressure is on results, the here and now. It is a real shame."