London: Boyband One Direction has spoken out for the first time since Zayn Malik left the band last month. Liam Payne says he and other members of the boyband first found Zayn Malik's decision to leave hard to cope with.

One Direction
One Direction. Pic/Santa Banta

The remaining members Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson and Liam Payne discussed their friend's exit and talked about the group's future in an interview with The Sun newspaper, reports

"It's been a tough few weeks, probably the toughest since the band was formed five years ago. We're gutted that Zayn chose to leave," he said.

However, Liam Payne revealed that they'd finally come to terms with Malik's departure after a few performances without him.

"But now after a few performances as a four-piece, we're feeling confident and are determined to carry on stronger than ever," he added.

Tomlinson said he and the other three members "are 100 percent committed to staying in One Direction" as they still had "much more" they wanted to achieve.

They also thanked their fans and promised to return with "a brilliant tour and an amazing new album" which has already been in the works. "It's very exciting to be working on our fifth album," Styles said.