Stoke have begun their search for a fourth manager in 12 months after sacking Gary Rowett.
Rowett, 44, has departed after just eight months in charge following the club’s poor first half of the season, which has left them in 14th place in the Sky Bet Championship.
Rowett was tasked with leading the Potters straight back to the Premier League following relegation, but they have won only eight of their 26 league games and are eight points adrift of the play-offs.
“Stoke City have terminated the contract of manager Gary Rowett,” read a statement on the club’s official website.
“Members of his immediate coaching staff have also left the bet365 Stadium. The club would like to thank Gary and his staff for their efforts over the past eight months.
“A new managerial appointment will be made as swiftly as possible but in the meantime Rory Delap, Kevin Russell and Andy Quy will take charge of first-team affairs.”
Stoke, who began the season as promotion favourites after investing heavily in players during the summer, are in the hunt for their fifth manager in as many years.
Former boss Tony Pulis had been in charge for seven seasons when he was replaced in May 2013 by Mark Hughes, who spent four and a half years in the role. Rowett’s predecessor Paul Lambert lasted four months.
Potters fans had become disillusioned with both results and Rowett’s style of play this season and speculation over his future had been mounting.
A ‘Rowett out’ banner was unfurled during the home defeat to Bristol City on New Year’s Day and fans chanted for him to go during Saturday’s FA Cup draw at Shrewsbury.
Rowett signed a three-year contract when appointed in the summer by Stoke, who were reported to have paid Derby £2million in compensation.
He had signed a new deal with Derby the previous January after leading them to the play-off semi-finals at the end of the 2017/18 season.
Rowett began his managerial career at Burton and spent just over two years in charge of Birmingham before taking over at Derby in March 2017.
David Moyes has been installed as the early favourite for the vacancy, with Slavisa Jokanovic, Sam Allardyce, Derek McInnes and Martin O’Neill also in the running.
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