Ex-Wales head coach Mark Hughes has expressed his regret that Gary Speed will not see his promising work with the national team come to fruition.
Speed turned the nation's fortunes around under his guidance, winning half of his 10 games at the helm following a stint with Sheffield United.
The former Bolton, Newcastle, Everton and Leeds midfielder was found dead at his home on Sunday, and Hughes felt 'fortunate' to have known Speed.
Hughes insists Speed was a 'great guy' and that he was very much his own man in charge of Wales.
"He was a great guy to be around - by his appearance, by the way he conducted himself," he told Sky Sports.
"I feel fortunate to have known Gary as a friend.
"I wished him well when he got the job initially. Gary was very much his own man and he never picked up the phone to me.
"That's the real regret, that Gary's not going to be around to see through the work that he started."
Hughes also expressed his condolences to Speed's family.
"Let's hope they get some comfort from the amount of tributes that have been paid to Gary," he added.