Former Sunderland manager Steve Bruce believes Paolo Di Canio paid the price for an outdated management style after being ousted by the Black Cats on Sunday night.
Di Canio's controversial reign proved a brief one as he parted company with the club after only 13 matches, his exit coming little more than 24 hours after a 3-0 defeat at West Brom left them rooted to the bottom of the table with one point from five games.
It is believed the Italian's strict regime, unpopular with his players, was key to his departure.
"You cannot manage in the Premier League these days through a fear factor," Bruce told talkSPORT. "You've got to be able to manage individuals.
"Man management has become more relevant in my experience than coaching.
"Once you get yourself in the Premier League, they're all good players and you've got to find a way of getting the best out of them.
"It's never been my style to criticise anyone in public and I'm disappointed for Paolo. He's a character. A manager's lost his job. Management is a lonely place and he's lost his job this morning. I feel sorry for any manager in that position. I've gone through it and it's not nice."
Bruce managed Sunderland from 2009 to 2011, taking over after the arrival of current owner Ellis Short, but working under then chairman Niall Quinn.
He believes the club's approach has changed since Quinn left and Short took over as chairman himself.
"When I first went there with Niall, everything we did was run through Niall and (Short) was a bit stepped back," he said. "Since he has become chairman he seems much more hands on now. I'm not privy to too much but when I was there all I did was answer to Niall."