Scott Watters, whose St Kilda side face Carlton in Brett Ratten's swansong on Sunday, says he feels sympathy for the axed Blues coach.
Ratten was officially sacked on Thursday, five days after their finals hopes evaporated following a shock loss to Gold Coast.
"It's an unfortunate part of football but we've really got our hands full with developing our own side and improving our preparation, making sure we give a really good account of ourselves for our members and supporters on the weekend," Watters said ahead of Sunday's dead rubber at Etihad Stadium.
"There's a strong brotherhood of coaches - but also we go into the job knowing that's the sort of job that it is.
"But it doesn't change the respect he has in the football community."
The first-year Saints' coach always expected Ratten would take charge of the Blues on Sunday, despite being dumped with a year left on his contract.
Watters also said the Saints were not worried about the opposition being lifted by Ratten's last game and the desire to atone for their loss to the Suns.
"There's a lot of myths about that exact situation," he said.
"Sides can come out and play well, sides can come out and be really flat ... but we just focus on what we need to do."
St Kilda have re-signed Stephen Milne, Leigh Montagna, Lenny Hayes and Sam Gilbert, but a question mark still hangs over the playing future of Brendon Goddard, whose contract negotiations are dragging on.
Watters said there was no concern that Goddard would switch to another club and he was happy to let the talks run their course.
"I'm confident and really optimistic," Watters said.
"He's a really committed Saints person. It's a challenging time for Brendon, it's an unenviable position that he's in in many ways but I believe that he'll be at this football club.
"There's really no urgency for a decision this week or next week.
"There's a lot of thought that needs to go into it, particularly now from Brendon's side and with his management."
Carlton CEO Greg Swann has ruled out the prospect of the Blues making a play for Goddard.