Chelsea assistant coach Steve Holland says the team must face up to a potential relegation battle and pull together to achieve results.
Jose Mourinho parted company with the West London club on Thursday, leaving the team 16th in the table, one point above the relegation zone.
The assistant coach oversaw training on Friday, for which owner Roman Abramovich was also present, and believes the players must work hard to drag themselves away from the drop zone.
“We are in trouble, we can talk around it or deal with the reality,” Holland told Chelsea TV.
“We are in December and we are one point above the line of relegation, so we are in trouble and there is no alternative, everybody has to focus on giving their total commitment to the club moving forwards and first and foremost to our game against Sunderland.
“[The players] have reacted totally professionally as we would have expected. It really is a case now of what has happened has happened, we can’t affect that, we have to look forward and we have an important game, a game we have to do everything possible to try to win.
“When the manager changes it is a reflection of a bad period, a period that I am sure everybody, players and staff, take responsibility over. It is a collective thing, whether you are a coach or a player.
“We have to be ready with everybody pulling in the same direction to try and move the club up the league which is what I am sure everybody wants.”