Premier League bosses lament Jose Mourinho's Chelsea exit
Eddie Howe was "surprised and disappointed" at Jose Mourinho's Chelsea exit despite inflicting one of the defeats which triggered his Stamford Bridge demise.
Bournemouth boss Howe encapsulated the collective shock among Mourinho's peers, with rival managers all admitting sadness at the colourful Portuguese's exit from English football.
Bournemouth's 1-0 win at Chelsea on December 5 proved the penultimate clash of Mourinho's second Stamford Bridge spell, but Howe insisted managers cannot dwell on victories that do damage to rivals.
"I was surprised and disappointed," said Howe.
"I always says when anyone loses their job it is a sad occasion, and especially for the Premier League because he has to be regarded as one of the greatest managers of his generation.
"I think it is a loss to the league that he is no longer part of it at this present moment."
Mourinho guided Chelsea to the Premier League title last season, but nine defeats in 16 matches this term forced the 52-year-old out of the club.
West Brom's Tony Pulis, West Ham boss Slaven Bilic and Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino all echoed Howe's state of shock at Mourinho's exit.
Pulis claimed Mourinho will not be out of work for long, with many managers looking on nervously now the decorated Portuguese is available.
"I was surprised and disappointed in some ways," said Pulis.
"He is and has been one of the top managers in the world without question.
"He's a great manager, a great personality and he's a big loss to the league. You want foreign players to be coming into this country and you want the best foreign managers to be coming into this country. It makes it the best league in the world.
"When I have met him and spoken to him he has got a great sense of humour. He is a different person than the person you know when the cameras are rolling.
"There's a lot of people who talk a good game and get away with underachieving but he has always achieved and over achieved. He is one of the great managers.
"The quality he has and the record he has, it won't be too long before he is in work again. If he wants to be in work quickly."
West Ham boss Bilic admitted he expected Chelsea to give Mourinho more time to arrest the club's poor form.
Mourinho accused several of his players of betraying him after Monday's 2-1 defeat at Leicester, but Bilic insisted he has never seen top-level players purposely underachieving.
"Betrayal? I don't know," said Bilic.
"It is a difficult word. Those players were the same players that were doing the job for him and for the club and for themselves, that was one of the biggest qualities of Chelsea. Not only the skill of the players but the way there were doing that.
"I don't believe that any player would deliberately have bad training let alone a bad game, they are all professional, top class players, so I don't believe in that story. Especially not with him, when it is really well known that he is great with man-management."
Tottenham boss Pochettino claimed the Premier League will be all the poorer without Mourinho.
"I was very surprised and sad - it is a big loss for the Premier League. I have a very good relationship with him and it is a difficult moment for him," said Pochettino.
"It is difficult for me to give my opinion about a different club, I can only say I am very sad and shocked because it was a big shock for me and I think for all."