Tommy Rowe admits he took Darren Ferguson’s departure from Doncaster Rovers as a big blow.
But he insists there is no reason why Rovers cannot push for honours next season.
Rowe - currently recuperating from surgery on a damage hamstring - was one of Ferguson’s most trusted lieutenants.
The Scottish boss worked with Rowe at Peterborough United and snapped him up for Rovers in a loan move that became permanent two years ago.
He was understandably shook by the sudden departure but remains optimistic for the season ahead.
“It was a big blow,” Rowe said of Ferguson’s decision to resign.
“I’ve obviously played for him for a long time.
“That’s the footballing business.
“He brought me here and I could sing his praises all day and I think many of the team could.
“It was a blow.
“But, with my injury, I’ve not had too much time to digest that. I’ve had to think of the importance of where we are at right now.
“We’ve got a really good squad of players and we can push for something special again this year.
“It was a disappointing end to the season, where we were, because there were times we felt in the league we produced some good form.
“We always wanted to push on and get to the play-offs, where I think we should have been.
“Hopefully this season we can go on and show that.
“Whoever the new manager is coming in, can push us on that way.”
Rowe is confident Ferguson has helped lay the groundwork for success in the future for Rovers.
And he believes any new manager coming in will be pleased with the state of the squad he inherits, particularly when it comes to the collective mindset.
“The situation we face, professionalism is the key thing and this is a group of lads that are very together in professionalism and growth,” he said.
“There isn’t one lad who doesn’t want to learn and improve.
“The general mood in the camp was excitement for the new season.
“I’ve spoken a few times in the press about the development of the young lads and that I felt next season could be a really good season.
“The new manager coming in will be very happy that he’s got a group of players that are ready from day one to take it to the next level.
Rowe says he has spoken briefly to Ferguson since his departure.
“He’s that type of manager,” the 29-year-old said.
“He wears his heart on his sleeve and he wants to keep his relationship close with all players.
“I think every single player can relate to him the way it was.
“We had a good two years and hope we can continue now with the club and push on to where we planned to go from the beginning when I first came in.”