Watford have sacked manager Quique Sanchez Flores less than three months after bringing him back for a second spell as head coach.
The Premier League club announced the decision on Sunday, the day after a 2-1 loss to fellow strugglers Southampton.
Watford surrendered a first-half lead at St Mary's and remain rooted to the bottom of the table with eight points from 14 games.
Their only Premier League win this season came second bottom club Norwich City on November 8 and they have lost both of their games - against Burnley and the Saints - since.
Watford have scored just eight times in the English top-flight this term - the lowest tally in the division - while they have conceded 28 goals in 14 games.
In a statement issued on their official website, Watford pledged to move swiftly to install Flores' successor.
"Quique is a man of great integrity and it was clear how much he wanted to have a positive impact, but ultimately results have dictated our decision," said chairman and chief executive Scott Duxbury.
"The appointment of a new head coach is imminent, and with nearly two-thirds of the season remaining, we will provide all the support necessary to make the coming months successful."
Flores, who presided over a creditable 2015-16 campaign, only returned to Vicarage Road in September after more than three years away.
He replaced Javi Gracia after a slow start to the season but was unable to rectify poor results.
The former Valencia and Atletico Madrid boss took charge of 12 games in all competitions for two wins, four draws and six defeats, including the humiliating 8-0 loss to Manchester City.
"It’s sad because if I can help the team I suffer, I suffer for the fans, I suffer for the players and I suffer for the owner of course,” he told reporters after Saturday's defeat.
“It’s the way I chose, I can’t do anything for that. I would regret if they came to my house and they said: ‘you can help us’ and I stay there. This is not me, it’s not my character. If I stay in my comfort zone it’s not me. I came here and I’m trying and fighting a lot, although the circumstances are bad for us.”
Former Newcastle United and Brighton boss Chris Hughton is rumoured to be one of the frontrunners for the Watford post.