Championship club Bristol City have sacked head coach Dean Holden following a run of six successive defeats in all competitions.
A statement said the Robins’ board had decided that “a change of head coach is necessary” after the club slipped to 13th in the table.
Assistant head coaches Paul Simpson and Keith Downing have been placed in temporary charge.
City are seven points off the play-offs having lost their past five league games, failing to score in four of those outings.
Holden was appointed by the Robins in August on a rolling 12-month contract, having initially been placed in interim charge following the sacking of Lee Johnson in July last year.
Holden, who had been Johnson’s assistant at Ashton Gate for four years, won two and drew two of his five games at the end of last season before he was handed the head coach role.
The Robins started 2020-21 with four successive wins in the Championship, but their promotion challenge has faltered since.
City were sixth when they beat Blackburn on 9 December, but have slid down the table after losing 10 of their subsequent 13 league games, including a 6-0 thumping at Watford on Saturday.
“The club would like to thank Dean for his service to the club over the years and we wish him well for the future,” the club statement added.