Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti has told his players to remain focused ahead of Sunday's Premier League clash at home to Sunderland, following Ray Wilkins' shock departure.
Ancelotti's number two was dismissed less than 24 hours after the 1-0 victory over London rivals Fulham on Wednesday evening, ending his 37-year association with the Blues.
He began his playing life at the club as an apprentice before captaining the side at just 18 and worked under Gianluca Vialli and Felipe Scolari during their reigns as manager.
The current Chelsea supremo has paid tribute for his efforts, but he now wants to forget about the circumstances surrounding the 54-year-old's exit.
"I want to say one thing," Ancelotti commented."Ray was a fantastic assistant coach – I want to say thanks to him because he was a fantastic support last season and this season.
"He did a fantastic job and helped me and all the team to win the double, so the first thing is to say a lot of thanks to him," he said.
"He is my friend, I have a fantastic relationship with him and I will have a fantastic relationship with him. He knew very well English football and has a lot of experience as assistant. His job he did very well.
"The club made this decision, I think it was a difficult decision for everyone but I have respect for this decision. I have trust in all the staff working with me, and now we have to move on.
"We have to look forward, stay focused on the next game because it is an important season for us and it is important to move on.
"I spoke with the players to tell them the club made the decision, but as I said before we have to move on and stay focused. The players are in focus and will continue to stay focused."