Magnus Okuonghae admits he was shocked to learn that Joe Dunne had left his role as Colchester United manager.
The U’s longest-serving player says he learnt of Dunne’s departure on Twitter, yesterday morning.
Dunne parted company with Colchester by mutual consent, after failing to win any of his opening five games this season in League One and has been replaced by Tony Humes.
However, skipper Okuonghae said the news of Dunne's exit, along with that of assistant manager Mark Kinsella, came as a surprise to him and his team-mates.
Okuonghae said: “I’m shocked to be fair - I didn’t see it coming.
“The first I saw of it was on my Twitter feed and I know that one or two of the other lads were the same.
“That’s the decision that has been taken and unfortunately, the gaffer has paid the price for us not getting results.
“As players, we have to take some responsibility for that too but there was a togetherness about us and we’d been playing well.
“I don’t think our results had matched the quality of our performances but it’s a results business and these things happen in football.
“All we can do is stay positive and our focus as professionals has to be on getting a result at Walsall, on Saturday.
“At the end of the day, all you can do is make sure you perform on the pitch.”
Okuonghae played 90 times for Colchester during Dunne’s two-year spell in charge.
He was part of the U’s side that narrowly avoided relegation to League Two, in each of the last two seasons.
And only last month, the former Dagenham and Redbridge defender was also appointed as U’s skipper by Dunne.
“I was honoured to be made captain,” said Okuonghae, who has played under five permanent managers during his time at the club.
“It was good playing under the gaffer and we weren’t far from being successful.
“It’s been a tough couple of years overcoming relegation like we have and we’ve been through it a bit.
“We’ve had some battles over the last two and a half years but these things make you stronger.
“But I think we’ve under-achieved.”
For six pages of coverage of Tony Humes' appointment as manager and Joe Dunne's departure, see Tuesday's Daily Gazette.