Leicester City striker Steve Howard admits the players were stunned by Sven
Goran Eriksson's sacking by the club.
The Swedish boss was relieved of his post on Monday evening following the Foxes' 3-0 Championship defeat at home by Millwall at the weekend.
The dismissal was not entirely expected given Leicester sit just five points short of the automatic promotion places.
But it is thought Eriksson was deemed to have not produced a necessary return on the £10million invested by new Thai owners King Power which was designed to secure a return to the Premier League.
Howard admits the players were shocked by the sacking but insists the club must regroup and push forward.
"(It was a) bit of a shock to us all but these things happen in football and you've just got to move on," the striker told Sky Sports News.
"I think it was quite a surprise but you've just got to take it on the chin. We've got a big game coming up (at West Ham) so we need to focus on that."
Howard says Eriksson spoke to the players before his departure to wish them luck in their promotion push.
The forward added: "He just wished us all the best and he just said I hope you continue to play the football you can do and climb the league."
Martin O'Neill, who led the Foxes to three League Cup finals, twice successfully, in his spell as Leicester manager from 1995 to 2000, has been installed as an early favourite to return to the club as Eriksson's successor.
But Howard insists the players are in the dark over any potential candidates, adding: "Obviously he (O'Neill) is a bit of legend around these parts.
"I don't know how true that will be. We'll wait and see. We'll be the last to know.
"We'll take whoever comes in, try to pull together in there and try and get up the league."