The news was so unexpected that Blues players were either speechless or overwhelmed by emotion, according to former Chelsea midfielder Sidwell.
“I never felt that tension or thought he was in trouble," he told The Athletic. “There were a few games before, you could see things in the press and it really bubbled up.
"But you didn't feel it on the inside. The players were all united, no one was turning against him, he hadn't lost the dressing room.
“The day he went, I was driving my wife to the airport and the news came on the radio. I just thought, 'S***, he's gone. What's going to happen?' We were then all called into a meeting at Cobham.
“It was awkward when Jose came to say his goodbyes. You could have heard a pin drop. It felt like someone had died.