Manchester City players "love" having Manuel Pellegrini as their manager, says goalkeeper Joe Hart.
Chilean Pellegrini, whose team remain in contention for four trophies this year, will be replaced by Pep Guardiola at the end of the season.
The announcement was made on Monday, 24 hours before City beat Sunderland 1-0.
"It was never going to be a distraction. We're here to win titles, Manuel's here to win titles," said England international Hart.
"We back him, we love him as our manager."
Hart, 28, made a number of fine saves at the Stadium of Light, where Sergio Aguero's early goal gave City a hard-fought win.
The goalkeeper added: "We appreciate we have a job to do this season. Next season is next season."
Victory - in Pellegrini's 100th match in charge - kept the Blues three points behind Premier League leaders Leicester, who visit Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
Pellegrini's side will play Liverpool in the Capital One Cup final, and face Chelsea and Dynamo Kiev next in the FA Cup and Champions League respectively.
'Today it was for Pellegrini'
The 62-year-old appeared reluctant to discuss Monday's announcement, but defender Gael Clichy joined Hart in supporting his manager.
Asked if he was excited about Guardiola's appointment, the Frenchman said: "I can assure you the only excitement we have was to win the game today.
"It is big news, I think the club did what they felt was needed. As a player, you play for the fans, the chairman, the manager and yourself. Today it was for Pellegrini."