The Warriors and Kiwis rugby league forward Tohu Harris believes the blame for coach Stephen Kearney's "undeserved" sacking lies with the players.
Harris was the first player to speak publicly since Kearney's abrupt sacking by the club on Saturday.
He described Kearney as "the one person that was holding this team together" after the Auckland-based club relocated to the NSW Central Coast to keep playing in 2020.
"It's been a huge shock and we're still pretty upset by the news," Harris said.
"I'm feeling for Mooks (Kearney) and his family now. I feel personally that it wasn't deserved, especially with the players and how we feel that we let him down."
Kearney's sacking came after Friday's heavy 40-12 loss to South Sydney.
However CEO Cameron George has stressed the decision was based on poor results over the past 12 months, not just the Warriors' efforts since the NRL resumed late last month.
"I think the majority of the squad has taken it particularly hard," Harris said.
"The majority of the squad are here because of Mooks.
"For me personally, he's the one who gave me my first Test jersey. I've known him since early 2013," said Harris.
"If he wasn't in Auckland, me and my family, we don't come here … In this situation, he's the one person that was holding this team together. We're still in shock and left scrambling.
"As players, because we feel responsible for the result, it feels very harsh.
"A lot of us have watched the game back and we saw how many opportunities we had that we didn't finish ... To have the decision made after the result we felt responsible for, we feel it's really harsh.
"But there's a lot of stuff we don't know about and there's guys that have to make those decisions and we just have to do our job."
Assistant coach Todd Payten has stepped into the breach to lead preparations for Friday's clash with Melbourne, while George and club owners will begin an extensive search for a full-time replacement.