Manchester United assistant boss
Although the manner of United's eventual failure to retain its Premier League title thanks to
Of all the clubs likely to throw away an eight-point lead in the final six games, United is the most unlikely.
Yet that is exactly what happened. And, much as he would like to forget it, there have been times when Phelan found it impossible.
"You have moments when you reflect," he told Press Association Sport.
"I wouldn't say you sit down and analyse and analyse and keep churning it over, but there are moments when someone will say something or something else takes you back.
"Then you start to give it a bit of your time. It was dramatic, as dramatic as it has ever been, and very disappointing at the same time."
Answers are not easy to find, and come with an equal number of questions.
The absence of skipper
Yet Vidic had been missing since December, and United had come through a series of searching examinations before.
Similarly, concentration levels against Everton clearly dropped when the game appeared to be won, allowing the Toffeemen to score twice in the final 10 minutes to snatch a point.
How come then United had previously been so secure.
Looking at the bare facts, it simply doesn't make sense.
"In some ways, when you do look into it and start to think you wonder whether the eight-point lead came at the right time," said Phelan.
"Did it settle us down too much?
"Obviously there were games we should have won, that we were in control of, that we let slip.
"It was through lack of concentration in certain games, especially Everton, when we were at home and 4-2 up.
"It was there for a Manchester United win and it didn't happen.
"But you could also pinpoint other games; Wigan, losing a goal right on half-time against Manchester City, which changed the second half. The whole season just finished disappointingly flat."
The cleansing process has begun, with United now in the midst of its 22,000-mile pre-season campaign, which, after a narrow win over AmaZulu in
And, whilst the Red Devils will have returned for three more games in
"Definitely," he said.
"This football club creates that anyway. You know you have to achieve.
"The benefit for me is the fact that I played and coached here and have now started on the management side.
"You know what it takes to stay there and how you need to stay there.
"I wouldn't say it was pressure but you want to succeed because you know it means so much to everybody, not just yourself but people all around the world."
Goalkeeper Mat Ryan, defender Pedj Bojic and midfielder Oliver Bozanic look to have played their last games for Central Coast Mariners as the A-League champion faces a raft of departures.