Chelsea interim coach Bruno Saltor said the players would be “sad” after the Premier League club sacked manager Graham Potter as he prepared the team to face Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.
Potter was dismissed on Sunday, after a 2-0 home defeat against Aston Villa the previous day.
Big-spending Chelsea, who hired the Englishman to replace Thomas Tuchel in September, have just 10 wins from 28 league games this season and are 11th in the table, 12 points outside the top four.
There have now been 13 managerial departures in the English top flight this season — a new record.
Julian Nagelsmann, who was sacked as Bayern Munich boss last month, is the favourite to be the next Chelsea boss.
Bruno told reporters on Monday that Potter’s dismissal had been “really difficult at every single level, especially emotional”.
The Spaniard, who worked under Potter at Brighton before following him to Stamford Bridge, said the players would be sad “because they know the level of human being that Graham is”.
Chelsea’s statement announcing Potter had left Stamford Bridge also said he had “agreed to collaborate with the club to facilitate a smooth transition”.
When asked what that meant, Bruno said: “Probably means that I’m here right now, just trying to keep the process going and we just try to collaborate the best that we can and I think Graham did an amazing job.
“Football is a really complex business and we have to keep going.”
Bruno, 42, said the match against fellow strugglers Liverpool on Tuesday would be an opportunity for the Chelsea players to show their quality.
“We’re representing Chelsea, a club with an amazing history and it’s about winning, it’s about dominating,” he said.
“What we need to do is prepare for the game and preparation helps a lot in terms of performance and that’s what the players need to focus on.”