Pete Winkelman said he was left in shock after making the decision to part company with Paul Tisdale on Saturday night.
Dons, on their worst run in the club’s history, had lost to Tranmere Rovers not two hours before the announcement was made of Tisdale’s departure, and just six months after he secured promotion from League Two.
Winkelman admitted it was a decision he had not foreseen just a month ago, but said results simply weren’t good enough.
“A month ago, none of us thought about this decision, but football is about results,” the chairman told the Citizen. “Results on the pitch were, for some reason, catastrophic.
“We’ve had injuries, but that’s what everyone was judging us on.
“I didn’t want to sleepwalk into another battle. I made this change really quickly and with a guy who has all the qualities to become a successful manager. And if he’s a successful manager, he’ll do it here.
“It has been a horrendous few weeks. Perhaps the style with which we ended up losing played a part too. It’s not the football we saw last season when we were flying.
“But we haven’t looked good and sometimes you feel there’s a change in the air.
“It’s a scary time for us and the players.
“Maybe not having a break between leaving Exeter and coming to us was another issue. At the end of the day, you need a clear head and you need to be prepared.
“I think we’re both a bit in shock. I had a great relationship with Paul, and I never felt he was shirking his responsibility. If anything, I think he was trying too hard.
“We reached a point when we had injuries that he had to think about his team different. But if you don’t get results, your confidence gets shattered and you play in a different way. And I felt we had to do something about it straight away.
“We’ve not suddenly got bad players, but we haven’t got all the ammunition we’d have liked, and already I can see changes in January, but we’ve got a good group who are under-performing because of a lack of confidence.
“It was sad, even shocking to see Paul go, but I don’t think I made the wrong decision. I believe it was the right decision for the club.”