Hibernian captain Kevin Thomson paid tribute to Tony Mowbray despite believing that the manager was on his way to joining West Bromwich Albion.
Kevin Thomson hopes Hibs can continue to progress
"Obviously the manager has departed and it's a big loss, speaking on behalf of the club and the changing room," Thomson told BBC Sport.
"He is a good man and he is a good manager as well.
"You only have to ask the Hibs fans and everybody involved how far he has progressed it in a couple of years."
Thomson could understand Mowbray's decision to return to English football.
"He has always stated his ambition," said the midfielder.
"When he first came in, he said he wanted to be manager of Manchester United within 10 years.
He was quite emotional and quite touched - and so were the boys
"He's progressive and he's ambitious and, wherever he goes, he is going to be a success and everyone in the changing room wishes him all the best.
"The boys who were here when he arrived will tell you that they are playing football far superior to what they were producing before Tony came here.
"Hopefully the influence he has had will stand us in good stead for the future."
Mowbray had addressed the Hibs players on Thursday morning before heading for talks with West Brom.
"He just basically thanked them for their efforts over the last couple of years," said Thomson.
"He was quite emotional and quite touched - and so were the boys.
"He said this would be the last time we would see him but that hopefully we would cross paths in the future."
The likely departure of Mowbray comes days before the Edinburgh derby with Hearts.
"We have a group of boys and have to stick together for a big game on Sunday," added Thomson.
"The boys have got to be focussed and stick together and produce the goods against Hearts.
"We have strong characters in the changing room and we have a job to do whether or not the manager is here on Sunday."