Interim Blackpool manager Terry McPhillips says Gary Bowyer will be a huge loss to the club and difficult to replace.
READ MORE: Donervon Daniels rejoins Blackpool
McPhillips paid tribute to his former boss while speaking publicly for the first time since being placed in temporary charge following Bowyer’s surprise resignation on Monday.
Bowyer’s former assistant is one of the bookies’ favourites to take the job permanently but he played down that idea, saying: “I’m Gary’s number two.
“He’s a massive loss in my opinion. I don’t just regard him as a work colleague – he’s a friend and I owe him lots personally.
“He’s a brilliant manager, a brilliant coach and a brilliant man-to-man manager. He gets the most out of his players.
“He got the club promoted from League Two in the best way you can do – in the play-off final at Wembley.
“Then to consolidate with one of the smaller budgets in the first season back in League One, he’s done a fantastic job and will be sorely missed. Some of the players are devastated.”
Asked if he had contemplated resigning himself, McPhillips said: “It never came to that. It was more, ‘Wow, the manager’s gone’. We were all in a bit of shock.
“He’s gone for his own reasons and we all understand that. There was no way I was leaving myself.”
Former Seasider Richie Wellens is favourite for the job and is known to be interested.
Asked if Bowyer will be difficult to replace, McPhillips said: “I think so but I don’t think there will be a shortage of takers.
“There are lots of people out of work who are desperate to be back in football.
“I am sure there will be many applicants and people desperate to take the job.”
Despite this week’s unrest, Pool were active ahead of yesterday’s transfer deadline as they recruited free agent Donervon Daniels for the rest of the season .
The 24-year-old centre-back spent the first half of the 2014-15 campaign on loan with the Seasiders from West Bromwich Albion.
Daniels joined Wigan Athletic the following summer and was released at the end of last season, which he spent on loan at Rochdale.
Fellow defender Curtis Tilt is still a Blackpool player despite his desire to join Ipswich Town.
The Championship club were unable to agree a fee for the 27-year-old, who had handed in a transfer request.