Michael O’Neill has been sacked by Stoke City just five matches into the new Championship season.
The Potters are 21st in the table with one win from their opening five games and three defeats.
Assistant Dean Holden has been placed in temporary charge as Stoke search for a new manager.
The club’s joint chairman John Coates said in a statement: “Michael joined us in November 2019 when the club was in a difficult situation and the job he did in stabilising our position in the Championship should not be underestimated.
“Michael has worked tirelessly and with extreme professionalism, in particular in reshaping our squad and developing young players, but we feel the time is right to move in a different direction. I would like to thank him for his efforts and wish him every success for the future.
“Assistant manager Dean Holden will take interim charge of the first-team. The club has begun the process of appointing a new manager and will be making no further comment at this time.”
Former Northern Ireland boss O’Neill replaced Nathan Jones in November 2019 with Stoke bottom of the Championship.
He guided the club to safety but only managed two 14th-place finishes in the following two seasons.
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And ex-Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan insists something had to change at the Bet365 Stadium.
“O’Neill came in with a reputation as an international manager that did very well,” Jordan said on talkSPORT.
“If two-and-a-half years later, you finish 14th last season and you’re 21st after five games this term, something’s got to give.
“If there’s no progress, there has to be a change. I’m not surprised.”
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