Swansea's Wayne Routledge says players will be left shocked and disappointed by manager Graham Potter's departure.
Routledge says Potter was building something "special" at the Swans but has been named new Brighton manager.
Routledge is out of contract in June, but is eager to stay with the club.
"It's disappointing. I think he'd done a really good job with what he came into, with a lot of outgoings and a lot of players who hadn't played a lot of competitive football," Routledge said.
"I've been here for a long time now and, like most fans are thinking, who can come in and keep the club moving in the right direction which we all think we're heading?"
Potter, 44, was targeted by Premier League Brighton after they sacked Chris Hughton.
Swansea impressed under the former Ostersund manager, who achieved a top-10 finish despite seeing 16 players depart and only five arrive following Premier League relegation.
"It was starting to come together towards the end of the season and it nearly finished in something that was quite special," Routledge added.
"It didn't pan out, but it was still a season we could be proud of and you could see we were working towards something.
"(The players) have not spoken about it, but I'd say the mood would be one of shock and disappointment."
Potter had said he was keen to retain the services of Routledge, who was announced on Saturday as being released upon the end of his contract.
However, it has been indicated there could still be a new deal for a player who has made 260 appearances since signing from Newcastle in August 2011.
Routledge says he has yet to receive a formal offer on a new deal, but is keen to stay having already waived a clause that would have triggered an extension.
"I had a clause if I played a certain amount of games it would trigger a new deal, but the way the club is financially it was never going to happen," he said.
"I felt I could help the team so I approached the club to see if we could take it out if it meant I could play."
He was subsequently a regular under Potter, the former Crystal Palace, Spurs and QPR winger adding: "There's been a small amount of dialogue, but no official paperwork or contract, it's why I tweeted that if I have played my last game it's been an honour; I've loved every minute of it.
"I have a club I've played for a long period of time which is quite unusual in my career; I have an affection for the place.
"I've said to the club I'm willing to work with what's on offer as long as it's something respectable.
"I can't wait forever, but I feel I can continue to help the rebuilding process and get us back to where we want to be. It's going to take a lot of work, but I'd like to and I'm willing to stay - but I can't stay without an offer."