Archie Knox admits he's been stunned by the departure of Bolton Wanderers manager Sammy Lee.
The experienced coach is now preparing for a daunting debut as his struggling team face Barclays Premier League leaders Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
It is remarkable turnaround for Sir Alex Ferguson's former number two as his previous job was as head of Scotland's Under-21 squad.
On his new role at the Reebok Stadium, Knox, 60, said: "It took me completely by surprise.
Lee appointed Knox as coaching co-ordinator and he is saddened at the former Football Association and Liverpool coach's exit so early in the season.
"It was a disappointment because of my affiliation with Sammy," said Knox. "He got in touch with me to ask me to come down and give him a hand.
"It was very disappointing to see him leave but we all realise that that's football. The cliche is that it's a results-orientated business - and it is.
"It's just a pity that he didn't get the results that his efforts merited.
"I am sure he'll bounce back and somebody with his experience is too valuable to be lost to the game."