Scunthorpe United caretaker Andy Dawson has said he was surprised by the timing of Russ Wilcox's sacking.
Dawson, 35, has been placed in charge of the team on a temporary basis after Wilcox was dismissed on Wednesday and will lead them for the first time at Gillingham on Saturday.
The Iron are currently 23rd in League One, three points away from safety.
"I didn't see it coming to be honest but maybe I'm a bit naive," he told BBC Radio Humberside.
"I have massive respect for Russ and (former assistant) John Schofield. I have learnt a lot from both of them."
Wilcox led the Iron to promotion last season after going unbeaten in his first 28 games as manager.
However, they have won just four of 15 matches in all competitions this season and Wilcox was sacked after the 2-1 home defeat by Notts County in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy on Tuesday.
Former Hull City man Dawson was player-coach under Wilcox, having returned to the club in May 2013.
He says he is not looking further forward than Saturday's trip to the Gills.
"The chairman has asked me to take the team on Saturday and that is all I know," he said. "We'll have to see how it goes because nobody knows what can happen in football.
"My mind is just on Saturday afternoon because that is a massive game for us as a club."
Meanwhile, BBC Radio Northampton understands that Northampton Town have not received an approach for manager Chris Wilder from the Iron.
Wilder took over at Sixfields last January and led them from the bottom of the table to League Two safety.