Derby County have sacked boss Steve McClaren, the club have confirmed.
McClaren had only been in the job since October, when he took over from former Sheffield Wednesday skipper Nigel Pearson, who himself had lasted just a few months.
It was McClaren's second spell in charge, the first ending in a sacking in May 2015 before he went on to manage Newcastle United.
After less than a year in charge at St James' Park, McClaren was sacked by Newcastle and was out of work until making a surprise return to Derby in October last year.
The former England manager's appointment saw Derby's results improve and a fortunate 2-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday at Pride Park sparked a seven-match winning run which helped the Rams rise up the table and seemingly back into contention for a play-off place.
However, Derby's form has slipped considerably recently and they have won just one in their last ten games - a 2-1 defeat of Barnsley at the beginning of this month.
They are currently 10th, ten points adrift of the play-off positions, of which Wednesday occupy the last.
The statement, posted on the club's official website, from Chairman Mel Morris read: “Steve is a great coach, we have very talented players and first class facilities but the heartbeat, commitment, focus and passion has been lacking something fundamental.
“The Brighton game on Friday night was so far from what we expect to see from those wearing a Derby County shirt.
“To ensure we are on the right path, it is important to put the building blocks in place so we can develop a team we can all be proud of. Players should wear the shirt with pride and share, espouse and exude the qualities and values we believe are important to the club, its supporters and the community.
“We need a manager who shares our values and who is prepared to develop the team, staff and processes that will set us on course for a sustainable place in the Premier League. We are less concerned about timescales than we are about getting things right. Of course we would like to achieve this sooner rather than later.
“That manager will of course be given the full support and backing of myself, the board, our executive team and staff to shape and develop the team around those who truly and demonstrably want to be part of Derby County.”
Derby are due to play Sheffield Wednesday on April 22 at Hillsborough, and Rotherham United on the final weekend of the season at the New York Stadium.