Sunderland have sacked manager Jack Ross – but admitted the decision had been made with a “heavy heart”.
The 43-year-old Scot was appointed by the League One club in May 2018 and led them to two Wembley appearances last season, the Checkatrade Trophy and League One play-off finals – but they won neither.
Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Lincoln leaves the Black Cats sixth in League One, eight points behind leaders Ipswich.
Sunderland chairman Stewart Donald told his club’s Twitter feed: “This is a decision that has been made with a heavy heart.
“When we arrived at the club 18 months ago, we appointed Jack because we felt that he was the right man to take Sunderland forward over a number of years.
“Jack has worked extremely hard and has helped us achieve stability at the club, and I sincerely thank him for his efforts. I hope and believe that he will go on to have a successful career in management.”
Assistant manager James Fowler has been placed in temporary charge of first-team affairs.
The club also announced that the process to appoint a new manager would commence on Wednesday.