Charlton Athletic have sacked head coach Michael Appleton after a 12-game winless run in all competitions.
He had only been in the role for four and a half months, after succeeding Dean Holden in September
He won eight and lost nine of his 28 games in charge but had got a win since beating Cheltenham on 28 November.
“Charlton Athletic can confirm that Michael Appleton has left the club with immediate effect after being relieved of his role as head coach,” the club said in a short statement about 30 minutes after their defeat by Northampton.
“The club would like to thank Michael for his efforts during his time in charge.”
The loss means Charlton are 16th, at the top of a group of five sides who all have 30 points.
The 48-year-old agreed a two-year deal at The Valley when he took over in September, after Holden was sacked following a run of four defeats in Charlton’s first five matches.
The former Blackpool, Oxford United, Lincoln City, Blackburn and Portsmouth boss had initial success, with a six-game unbeaten run in the league after taking over culminating in a 4-0 win over Reading – which saw the Addicks move up to 10th in the third tier.
But he led Charlton to just two victories after that, and six losses and four draws in the last 10 League One matches, coupled with an FA Cup first-round loss at League Two Gillingham.
It means the Addicks are searching for their sixth different boss in less than three years, as a turbulent time at The Valley continues.
SE7 Partners, headed by former Sunderland director Charlie Methven, took over the club in July from Danish-American businessman Thomas Sandgaard.
Sandgaard, who bought the club from unpopular owners East Street Investments in September 2020, was unable to turn Charlton’s fortunes around as the likes of Lee Bowyer, Nigel Adkins, Johnnie Jackson and Ben Garner all had spells in charge.
Appleton had brought in seven new players this month, including Ipswich Town striker Freddie Ladapo joining on loan and West Ham midfielder Conor Coventry, Plymouth Argyle defender Macaulay Gillesphey, Huddersfield full-back Rarmani Edmonds-Green and Swindon goalkeeper Lewis Ward agreeing permanent deals.