Norwich forward Jamie Cureton believes the club's players must take their share of the blame for Glenn Roeder's dismissal as Canaries boss, but has denied the manager lost the dressing room.
Roeder's contract was terminated on Wednesday following a run of disastrous results that saw his side drop to fourth from bottom in the Coca-Cola Championship and eliminated from the FA Cup.
And Cureton, currently on loan at Barnsley, told Sky Sports News: "I am fairly shocked to be honest. I did not really see it coming."
Fans vented their anger at former Newcastle manager Roeder, who was appointed in November 2007, after a 1-0 defeat to fellow Championship strugglers Charlton in the FA Cup third-round replay on Tuesday night.
The loss was Norwich's third in their last four games and second consecutive game in which they failed to score.
Cureton added: "I was at the game and it was not a great game, obviously there was a fairly big crowd and maybe the board feel today (Wednesday) is the right time to do it.
"The major problem is probably the squad underperforming," he continued. "I just think lack of form in players is responsible. The boys should be performing a lot better than they have. Things have just not been happening and once you get into a bad run of form it is very difficult to get out of it.
"I speak to the players all the time and they find it very hard and they are trying their best to turn things around but it just has not been happening for one reason or another. They are very disappointed with the way they have performed and they really feel that as a group of players they should be in a much higher position."
Despite rumours of discontent in the Norwich dressing room, Cureton dismissed suggestions that player unrest led to Roeder's departure.
"No one has really complained as far as I know," he continued. "He is there to make decisions and some people are going to get on and some are not going to get on. So that is natural with any manager. I don't think anyone got to the point where there was a real dislike. Everyone just got on with the job."
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms