Chester FC caretaker boss Jon McCarthy admits the timing of the club's decision to sack Steve Burr surprised him.
Burr was informed last Thursday his contract was being terminated with immediate effect after a dismal five months in which the Blues managed only four league wins.
McCarthy and club captain Ian Sharps have been put in charge for the rest of the campaign and began with a 2-1 defeat at Lincoln City at the weekend .
Before his dismissal Burr accepted results had not been good enough and said he could have no complaints if the board felt a change was needed, but the decision to act with four games remaining came as something of a shock to McCarthy.
"In terms of the timing of it was a surprise and we thought maybe they were going to something before that," said the former Northern Ireland international.
"Steve rang me on Thursday morning and said 'I've had a call to go in' so we know that's going to happen at 5pm on Thursday when we're taking training that morning.
"Everybody's aware of my relationship with him and what I think of him so in terms of going into four games with an experienced manager I think a lot of people and I think the fans would be mixed on that but they're not my decisions and I can't comment on that.
"We have a unique system in terms of the supporters and the board and the way it works, everybody at the club does things to the best that they can and everybody on the board wants Chester to stay up, Steve Burr wanted that and the fans and the players do.
"Everybody is pulling in the same direction but they have decisions to make and they parted quite well with Steve.
"There were elements of surprise with the timing of it but then Steve is the one with all of the experience in football and he's the the one who's said that on results there's a reason why the board could have done it.
"You look at some of the other elements to it with the finances and that's something for the board and I trust them with that. They understand the situation, they've got all of the information for that and they make that decision and we understand in football that's how it works and we go along with that."
In pictures: Action from Chester's defeat to Lincoln at Sincil Bank
Burr brought McCarthy, who played under him at Hucknall Town and Northwich Victoria, to the club as his number two soon after being appointed as Neil Young's replacement in January 2014.
Six months later, McCarthy gave up a lecturing position at Mid Cheshire College to take on a dual full-time role with the club as first-team coach and chief executive of the Chester FC Community Trust.
The board are expected to begin the process of recruiting Burr's successor this week and are understood to want a new manager in place to start work as soon as the season ends.
McCarthy looks unlikely to put himself forward as a candidate to replace Burr on a permanent basis giving his passion is hands-on coaching, while he will also want to build on the progress the community trust has made.
The ex-Birmingham City and Port Vale winger said he and Sharps would do everything possible to prepare the team for the final three matches, starting with a vital game already relegated Welling United on Saturday (3pm), but believes the responsibility of avoiding relegation rests with the players.
McCarthy said: "I love the coaching and I'm sort of not prepared for this and I've been put into it but the point at which we actually send the players out there does it really matter who's stood at the front of that technical area?
"I understand the football side, the coaching, how we set them up, the shape and how to talk to the players. We have a good relationship with them, there's a lot of respect for me and I have a lot of respect for them.
In pictures: Jon McCarthy's career in football
"Once we've done the talk and imparted the information, we send them out and then at half-time we know the picture and we can make whatever changes we need to and the players go back out so actually it's down to them and it's their responsibiluty.
"We let them know about those responsibilities to the club and that relegation thing can be a stigma and as a player you don't want to be a part of that and I think the work-rate and attitude on Saturday showed that.
"We found a little bit of belief against Lincoln and we need to have lots of it against Welling this weekend."