(Picture: Action Images via Reuters)
Struggling Championship side Wigan Athletic have sacked manager Warren Joyce after only four months in charge.
Joyce, 52, took over from Gary Caldwell in November with the Latics plummeting towards an immediate return to League One, but he failed to turn around results, winning just six of his 24 games at the helm.
Joyce arrived at the club with a great coaching reputation, having been Manchester United’s under-21 manager, but after losing to fellow strugglers Bristol City on Saturday, Wigan are four points from safety with nine games remaining.
“It is unfortunate that we have made this decision,” chairman David Sharpe told the club’s official website, “but with the team in such a perilous position in the league, we need to act now because we cannot afford to fall any further behind.
“Results and performances have simply not been up to standard often enough in recent matches.
“Although we acknowledge the difficulties faced in managing a team in a league where we are competing against clubs with much larger budgets, the nature of some of our recent defeats, especially against close rivals, has fallen short in terms of what we as a club, and all our supporters, expect.”
The optimism at the DW stadium going into this season was high, after Caldwell led the Latics to the League One title last season in brilliant fashion with Will Grigg leading, but they have failed to make the step up after a season out of the second tier and are the divisions lowest scorers.
Assistant manager Graham Barrow, a former Wigan midfielder, will now take charge of first-team matters, and his first game in charge will be at home against a resurgent Aston Villa side on Saturday.