Stockport captain Paul Turnbull admitted he was left stunned by the club's decision to axe boss Paul Simpson.
Simpson was relieved of his duties at Edgeley Park with immediate effect on Tuesday.
County sit 21st in the League Two table, just four points above the relegation zone, following a run of just three wins in 19 games.
Turnbull, who was handed the armband by Simpson, told the Manchester Evening News: "It was a big shock. I didn't expect it at all.
"I didn't see it coming. He was a top guy and a top manager, he would have done anything for the lads.
"I've had a few managers now, but we're all professional footballers and we've just got to carry on playing and doing our best."