Watford have sacked head coach Xisco Munoz after less than 10 months in charge, with the club 14th in the Premier League.
The Spaniard replaced Vladimir Ivic in December 2020 and guided the club to automatic promotion from the Championship last season.
Watford have won seven points from their opening seven league games, with Munoz’s last match in charge a defeat against Leeds at Elland Road on Saturday – described as a “1-0 battering” by goalkeeper Ben Foster.
A club statement read: “The board feels recent performances strongly indicate a negative trend at a time when team cohesion should be visibly improving.
“The Hornets will always be grateful to Xisco for the part he played in securing last season’s promotion and wish him well for his future career in football.
“No further club comment will be available until the imminent announcement of a new head coach.”
Amid an overhaul of the club’s squad following their promotion, Watford saw captain Troy Deeney leave after an 11-year stay while first-team regulars Will Hughes and Nathaniel Chalobah also left.
Munoz, who is the first manager to be sacked in the Premier League this season, started the new campaign with a 3-2 win against Aston Villa at Vicarage Road.
However, four defeats in six league games have followed that win, with their only other victory coming at fellow newly-promoted side Norwich.
Watford also exited the Carabao Cup at the third round stage to Championship club Stoke last month.
Munoz’s departure means the club are looking for their 13th different permanent manager since the Pozzo family completed their takeover of Watford in 2012.
Read More fun & Enjoy it ::
Who would take the Watford job now?
Speaking on Super Sunday Matchday, Daily Mirror assistant editor Darren Lewis told Sky Sports News: “If you sack a manager seven games in then you make your job finding a replacement for him even harder.
“I remember when they were looking for somebody to take the job before Xisco and that search took a long time.
“They have had 16 managers (including caretakers) in the last 10 years – that is a club with no longevity. Even if you do well, even if you do what they have asked you to do, you don’t get the time and breathing space to be able to build on your work.
“Who would want to take that job now?”