FANS have been left rocked by the shock departure of Paolo Di Canio and have said that it will be hard to replace his passion.

Supporters heading to Tranmere yesterday afternoon said they were surprised to hear the news, but are hoping that the issues off the field would not affect Swindon’s attempt to clinch promotion.

Two coaches left the County Ground and there was a feeling among fans that they were upset to see Di Canio, but were more concerned about getting three points.

Former Southampton manager, Nigel Adkins, who helped Southampton to back-to-back promotions to the Premier League before getting sacked by the south coast team, has emerged as a fans’ favourite for the job, and former manager Glenn Hoddle has also been mentioned.

Lee Ferris, 51, of Stratton said: “It was quite a shock and I think both parties could have handled it a bit better, having said that Di Canio said he wanted a decision by that time and it didn’t happen. I think they are going to miss him and there is nobody with as much passion as him.

“I would like to see Nigel Adkins here, but I also think the Hoddle has some unfinished business.”

Adrian Cleverly, 52, of Stratton, was less surprised and said he was worried that fans could react badly to the decision.

He said: “I think Di Canio was absolutely brilliant for the club – where else would you see fans waiting 15 minutes after the game just to cheer their manager?”

Gary Pretlove, 43, of Rodbourne said: “I was very disappointed, I think the timing was very bad ahead of such a big game.”

Paul Francome, 49, said: “I’m gutted but it’s not unexpected. “I’m shocked that he hasn’t left it until the end of the season. I’m just hoping that the players wear the shirt with pride and do their best for the fans. ”