Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has been sacked as manager of League One strugglers Northampton Town after their 2-0 defeat at Peterborough on Monday.
The ex-Chelsea and Netherlands striker arrived on a three-year deal in September, replacing Justin Edinburgh.
A run of three successive wins in January lifted the Cobblers to 18th, but they are now two points adrift of safety with five games to play.
The Sixfields side are 22nd and without a victory in their past nine matches.
First-team coach John Pemberton has also left, with assistant Dean Austin taking caretaker charge for the rest of the season.
Northampton were bottom of the third tier when former Burton and QPR boss Hasselbaink took charge, having lost all four of their league games at the start of the campaign.
“We are sorry to see Jimmy depart as he has worked very hard for us but felt a change at this point was in the best interests of the club,” said Northampton chairman Kelvin Thomas.
“It has certainly been a challenging time for the club, but we need to look forward and put our full focus on these remaining five fixtures.”
After a fourth defeat in five games at London Road, the 45-year-old Dutchman had vowed to “fight until the bitter end” to keep the club in the third tier.
Hasselbaink’s departure comes just four days after Northampton’s Chinese owners, 5USport, sold their 60% stake back to the club’s directors.
Caroline Densley, BBC Radio Northampton’s sports presenter
Nine games without a win – and it’s not just the fact the Cobblers haven’t been able to score goals – they’ve also got the worst defensive record in the league.
Monday’s result was made worse by the fact it was against their rivals Peterborough, and they had skipper and centre-back Ash Taylor sent off.
I’ve been covering the Cobblers since November 2016 and it’s the third manager they have sacked now – but on the back of many lacklustre performances, I think Jimmy had to go.
Dean Austin, who has been JFH’s number two, will be in caretaker charge but I’m pleased to see Jon Brady, who has been working with the youth setup, given a chance to assist Austin.