Morecambe skipper Barry Roche admitted it has been a strange week at the Globe Arena as they prepare to host Leyton Orient on Saturday.
It is the first game since former boss Jim Bentley, assistant manager Ken McKenna and goalkeeping coach Lee Jones joined AFC Fylde at the start of the week.
Roche, along with Kevin Ellison, is currently overseeing first-team affairs, supported by John McMahon, the head of academy coaching.
“It’s been absolutely mad,” Roche said.
“To be honest, it’s been a difficult few days with the gaffer going. I don’t think anybody wanted to see him go.
“I’d been with him for nearly 12 years as a player so it was hard to see him go and see how emotional he was.
“We were a bit surprised when the news came out that he was linked with the Fylde job but a lot of lads said it’d be me and Kev asked to take charge.
“I told them that I wouldn’t have thought that was the case but, when we were asked, we said we’d be happy to help out in any way we could.”
The Shrimps go into tomorrow’s game bottom of League Two after losing at Stevenage last time out.
A third of the way through the season, they are two points behind second-bottom Stevenage and four adrift of Scunthorpe United.
Roche said: “It’s such a big game. Last Saturday we were really disappointing.
“We started off quite well but played poorly after that and we can’t afford to let a gap start to appear.
“The squad we’ve got is more than good enough to get away from where we are but the table doesn’t lie.
“There’s no point me trying to make any excuses – all I can say is we haven’t been firing on all cylinders.”