Watford have sacked manager Claudio Ranieri after just three-and-a-half months in charge of the club.
The Hornets slumped to a 3-0 home defeat against fellow strugglers Norwich City on Friday night, a result which leaves them 19th in the Premier League table.
The defeat was Watford’s eighth in their last nine outings across all competitions, drawing the other, while they have won just three of their last 20 games.
However, the club have now parted company with the Italian boss, less than four months after appointing him.
Ranieri oversaw just 14 games at the helm since taking over from Xisco Munoz at the start of October, losing 11 of those and winning just twice.
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“Watford Football Club confirms the departure of head coach Claudio Ranieri,” read a statement on the club’s official website.
“The Hornets’ board recognises Claudio as a man of great integrity and honour, who will always be respected here at Vicarage Road for his efforts in leading the team with dignity.
“However the board feels that, with nearly half of the Premier League campaign remaining, a change in the head coach position now will give a new appointment sufficient time to work with a talented squad to achieve the immediate goal of retaining Premier League status.
“No further club comment will be made until this new appointment is confirmed in due course.”
Ranieri becomes the 15th manager sacked by the Pozzo family since they took over as Watford owners less than 10 years ago.