Aston Villa have sacked manager Dean Smith after three years in charge.
Smith, 50, leaves following Villa’s 1-0 defeat by Southampton on Friday, the club’s fifth successive defeat in the Premier League
Villa are 15th in the league, two points above the relegation zone.
“This year we have not seen the continuous improvement in results, performances and league position which we have all been looking for,” said Villa chief Christian Purslow.
He added: “For this reason we have decided to make a change now to allow time for a new head coach to make an impact.”
Smith was appointed Villa manager in October 2018, guiding them to promotion from the Championship in his first season in charge.
Though they struggled in their first season in the top-flight, narrowly avoiding relegation, Smith led the club to the 2019-20 Carabao Cup final.
The 2020-21 season saw Villa achieve an 11th place finish in the Premier League, but after the departure of star player Jack Grealish to Manchester City in the summer, results started to slip.
The club have not won since they defeated Manchester United on 25 September, picking up just 10 points from the first 11 games of the season.
It is their worst losing run since January to February 2017 in the Championship.
Smith is the fifth managerial change in the top flight this season with Tottenham sacking Nuno Espirito Santo on Monday and Norwich dismissing Daniel Farke late on Saturday.
Watford sacked Xisco Munoz in October, while Steve Bruce left his role as Newcastle manager by mutual consent on 20 October.
Villa say the process to replace Smith has started.
“The board would like to sincerely thank Dean for his many excellent achievements, on and off the pitch, during this time,” added Purslow.
“Everyone knows how much Aston Villa means to Dean and his family. He has represented the club with distinction and dignity – universally liked and respected by everybody associated with Aston Villa.”
Grealish tweeted: “No1 will ever compare, the real goat.