Republic of Ireland midfielder James McCarthy has spoken of his sadness and surprise at the departure of manager Giovanni Trapattoni.
The veteran Italian has left his position by mutual consent after back-to-back losses to Sweden and Austria effectively ended Ireland's hopes of reaching next year's World Cup finals in Brazil.
McCarthy, who has earned 18 caps since being brought into the national side by Trapattoni in 2010, believes his team-mates will share his disappointment.
The 22-year-old said: "I'm gutted to be honest. He was a good manager and I enjoyed working under him.
"It is a blow to all the players.
"It has just happened - I didn't expect it to happen.
"If you look at his record, how well he has done for Ireland, he has got us to the Euros and he fell short, just, of France in a (World Cup 2010) qualifier.
"We were in contention to qualify for the (2014) World Cup but unfortunately we slipped up on Friday and last night we conceded a late, late goal.
"It is one of those things. The FAI has had a meeting today and seen the time for him to go.
"It is disappointing, the players enjoyed working under him."
The start of McCarthy's international career was overshadowed by rumours he could switch his allegiance to Scotland, the country of his birth.
After making his first appearance in a friendly against Brazil in March 2010, it was not until he played a competitive fixture the following year that the speculation ended.
McCarthy feels he owes much to Trapattoni for bringing him into the fold.
He said: "It took me a while to get into the team but thankfully I got in and he stuck by me. He gave me my chance. He has been good for me."
McCarthy was speaking as he was officially unveiled as an Everton player at a press conference on Merseyside.
The former Hamilton midfielder joined the Toffees in a £14million deadline-day move from Wigan last week - a transfer that may not have happened without Trapattoni's co-operation.
With the transfer deadline approaching last Monday, Trapattoni gave McCarthy permission to report for international duty a day late last week.
McCarthy said: "I spoke to him last week and he said, 'No bother, just report on Tuesday morning. Hopefully everything goes well for you'.
"I'm thankful that he allowed that to happen. A lot of managers would have said, 'We want you in and fly over.'
"But with the time, at such short notice, it (the move) may not have happened - so a big thank you to him."