Oxford United defender David Hunt says their promotion ambitions have not been derailed by manager Chris Wilder's decision to leave.
Wilder was appointed Northampton manager on Monday after quitting the U's at the weekend.
The 46-year-old leaves Oxford sixth in League Two, while his new club are bottom of the table.
"We can still get promoted," Hunt told BBC Oxford. "He put us on the right path and brought the right players in."
Wilder, who was set to be out of contract this summer, had been at the U's for five years and although Hunt said the players are sad to see him leave, he insisted they cannot let it affect them.
"He wished us well and he said it was sad that he had to make the decision but he did it for his own personal reasons," added Hunt.
"I'm a little bit gutted because we were onto a good thing and it does affect the boys and the atmosphere a little but at the same time we've got a great bunch of lads so we need to stick together.
"There are players who have been with him for five years so yes there is loyalty so it is a situation that is a little bit awkward. We've got a great bunch of lads and great staff so we need to make sure it does not affect us."
Wilder will now turn his focus from a promotion campaign to a relegation battle but Hunt insists that does not portray the U's in a bad light.
"I don't think it sends out a bad message," he said. "We've been through a lot together and the togetherness will not change.
"There is nothing to worry about, we have a blueprint and we know what we have to do. Yes, the manager has gone but we cannot use that as an excuse.
"It's going to be tough but we have to keep our heads down and take it as it comes.
"It's very attractive club with so much potential and I'm sure a lot of people will be applying. United we stand."