Watford have sacked head coach Quique Sanchez Flores after just 85 days in the role.
The Premier League’s bottom club announced the departure of their second manger of the season the day after their 2-1 defeat at fellow strugglers Southampton.
Watford chairman and chief executive Scott Duxbury said in a statement: “Quique is a man of great integrity and it was clear how much he wanted to have a positive impact, but ultimately results have dictated our decision.
“The appointment of a new head coach is imminent and, with nearly two-thirds of the season remaining, we will provide all the support necessary to make the coming months successful.”
Watford said they would make no further comment until the appointment of a new head coach, with former Brighton boss Chris Hughton the favourite to take the role.
Sanchez Flores only returned for his second spell in charge at Vicarage Road on September 7, replacing Javi Gracia, who was dismissed following a poor start to the season.
But the 54-year-old, who was also at the helm for the 2015/16 season, could not reverse the club’s fortunes, winning just one of his 10 league games in charge, against Norwich.
He also saw his side hammered 8-0 at Manchester City, but ultimately it was Saturday’s defeat at St Mary’s, where they were on course to win before conceding two late goals, which sealed his fate.
That defeat to the Saints, which followed a 3-0 home loss to Burnley, left Watford two points adrift at the foot of the table and six points from safety.
They travel to high-flying Leicester on Wednesday, by which time they appear likely to have their third permanent manager of the season in the dugout.
Sanchez Flores becomes the third Premier League manager to the sacked in less than two weeks following the departures of Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham and Unai Emery at Arsenal.