Struggling Southampton have sacked manager Mauricio Pellegrino 48 hours after his side slipped to a 3-0 defeat at Newcastle United, leaving them in deep trouble with eight Premier League games remaining.
The Saints do not play in the league again until the end of the month, with the FA Cup quarter-final at Wigan Athletic to come after the international break.
It gives the Southampton board time to assess their options, but the club confirmed they had parted company with Pellegrino on Monday evening.
Pellegrino managed just one win in their 17 Premier League games for Southampton and he departs with the club just a point above third-bottom Crystal Palace with eight games to play.
Their next game an FA Cup quarter-final with League One Wigan Athletic before a crucial trip to 16th-placed West Ham on March 31.
A Saints’ statement said: “Southampton Football Club can today confirm that it has parted company with First Team Manager Mauricio Pellegrino.
“Assistant Manager Carlos Compagnucci and Assistant First Team Coach Xavier Tamarit have also parted company with the club.
“We would like to place on record our thanks to Mauricio, Carlos and Xavier for their efforts during their time with Southampton, and wish them well for the future.
“The club will look to appoint a new management team as soon as possible, with the search for a replacement already underway.”
Pellegrino was only appointed last June following the sacking of Claude Puel, but has proven to be unpopular with fans who have grown frustrated over his conservative style of football.
It is believed that the club does not want to appoint an interim manager, and instead wants to find what it views as another long-term candidate for the job.
Former Stoke City boss Mark Hughes, ex-Watford boss and Benfica target Marco Silva, and former West Ham chief Slaven Bilic are among the favourites to replace Pellegrino as the Saints seek a third manager in 21 months.