Chelsea interim head coach Bruno Saltor says it has been a “difficult 24 hours for all of us” after Graham Potter’s sacking.
Potter and assistant coach Billy Reid left the club on Sunday after only 31 games.
Bruno and Reid were part of Potter’s coaching staff at Brighton and joined Chelsea with him in September.
“It’s been really difficult, at every single level, especially emotionally,” said Bruno.
“You have to do the press conference, you have to deal with the players – it’s hard.
“My relationship with Graham and Billy, and how it affects families – it’s difficult to deal with that.
“It’s a sad day for the staff because Graham and Billy are two top coaches and top human beings.
“I have to be as professional as I can and try to help and guide the players. I’m just focusing on what I can control and going day by day.”
When Chelsea confirmed the changes, they issued a statement which said Potter has “agreed to collaborate with the club to facilitate a smooth transition”.
Asked what that means, former Brighton defender Bruno said: “It probably means that I’m here right now, trying to keep the process going. We’re just trying to collaborate as best we can.
“Graham did an amazing job. Football is a really complex business and we have to keep going.”
Potter was sacked with Chelsea 11th in the Premier League after Saturday’s 2-0 home defeat by Aston Villa.
They are 12 points off the top four with 10 games of the season remaining, beginning with Tuesday’s match at home to Liverpool.
Bruno said he had spoken with Potter and the club’s owners and that they are “really supportive”.
“The responsibility is all of ours,” said the former Valencia player. “We have to keep it positive and focus on tomorrow’s game. That’s the energy we’re working with.
“I see it as an opportunity for the players. We’re representing Chelsea, a club with an amazing history, and it’s about winning, about dominating.
“It’s a massive challenge. I’ve had just four years coaching but been involved in football for 24 years. I’ve got a lot of experience in changing rooms, and what I’ll try to do is help and guide the players because I’ve been in those situations before.”
‘I have to say thanks to Graham Potter’ – De Zerbi
Brighton manager Roberto de Zerbi, who replaced Potter in September, says the Chelsea players must accept some responsibility for their poor results.
“I don’t like it when the coaches are sacked because the responsibility is not only of the coaches – [it is also] the players, the club,” De Zerbi said.
“I don’t like speaking about the other teams and the other coaches, but I’m sorry because when there are these situations – they are sad situations.
“I have a big confidence in myself, but I am lucky to have these players and I have to say thanks to Graham Potter because I found a team with a very good mentality, very good attitude.”
Your Chelsea views
Augustus: Potter was meant to be a project manager but, unlike guys like Mikel Arteta, he didn’t get any silverware or have good signs for his first season. We should go for Julian Nagelsmann as he’s young and will be a good shout for being a long-term manager.
Mark: Potter to Chelsea was never a good idea – out of his depth. Possibly the large salary was a big factor too. Have Chelsea now made themselves a hot potato as far as attracting a new manager is concerned? Who would want to put their career on the line next?
Sean: As a diehard blue, I was desperate for it to work. Potter is a good young English manager. But Chelsea have got rid of far more experienced and proven managers at this level for less. They should have stuck with Thomas Tuchel. They need someone with similar experience to come in and steady the ship.
Chris: It was an impossible job. In the longer term Graham Potter will see this sacking as a blessing. He is a good, decent and professional manager based on recognising each players abilities and nurturing mutual integrity to build a team approach. Based on this, he will be back in successful management soon.
David: I really wanted Potter to succeed but the results were just unacceptable and he had to go. As for who to bring in now? I’d love to see Zinedine Zidane but I don’t think that will happen. I’d be happy with Luis Enrique or Nagelsmann.