Elliott Moore admitted Liam Manning’s departure came as a “bit of a shock” after Oxford United’s strong start to the season.

Manning departed the U’s on Tuesday (November 7) to take the vacant managerial position at Sky Bet Championship side Bristol City.

Rumours started over Bristol City’s interest in Manning began on Friday and the 38-year-old was announced as Nigel Pearson’s replacement four days later, bringing an end to his 29-game stint with the U’s.

Moore said: “It was a bit of a shock. You hear the rumours. It always happens in football when a team is doing well there will be other teams looking at the managers and the players.

“We knew that the rumours were going around. It happened so quickly that it was hard to digest as players.

“We had the game to focus on. It is all a bit of a shock but we have had a couple of days to get over it and it's now fully focused on the weekend.”

The club captain admitted he didn’t speak to Manning about his departure but wished him well in his new club.

He said: “For everything that he has done, we all wish him all the best.

“He came in and built the foundations to where we are and it’s up to us now as players, especially in the short period where we might not have a manager, to keep that going and focus on the game.”

“You want to carry on what we have all been doing at the start of the season and you don’t want it to have a negative impact on the team.

“Hopefully it doesn’t, it is up to us to make sure it doesn’t.

“It is disappointing but he made that decision and that was a personal decision.

“We wish him all the best but now it is down to us to focus and carry on what we are doing.”

Craig Short has been placed in interim charge while the U’s board conducts a search to replace Manning.

It has been confirmed by the club that Short will remain had the club under the new manager.

Moore said: “He has been here a long time, similar time to me.

“We all have a lot of respect for him. He has been through it in his career and to learn from him, especially as a defender.

“I listen to him and take every bit of advice that he gives.

“All the lads have a lot of respect for him and he has a lot of respect for the lads.

“It works really well and it's nice to know whoever comes in he is going to be around as it shows a bit of continuity with the club.”

United face Leyton Orient this afternoon before an international break gives the U's hierarchy time to bring in a new manager.

“Obviously a new manager will come in and tweak a few things and that absolutely fine.

“As players, we know what we are capable of and we have shown that this season.

“We have got to make sure whoever comes in that we carry on doing the basics right and make sure we go to games ang get three points, whether that is player nice football or grinding a performance.

“We are capable of doing either.”

“We are responsible for the result at the weekend and then it gives the board and people above us more time to get the right people in.

“Whether they do or not before Cheltenham, that is not up to us.

"They have seen what we have done at the start of the season and it is about continuing that.

"A manager comes in and they will have their own way of doing things and it's up to us to respect that and apply what they give us in training and games."