Aston Villa have parted company with manager Tim Sherwood following the club's disappointing 2-1 defeat to Swansea on 24 October. The former Tottenham boss had come under increasing pressure following a dismal start to the 2015/16 campaign that saw last season's beaten FA Cup finalists collect just four points from their opening nine games with one solitary victory and eight defeats.
A club statement confirmed: "Aston Villa Football Club has parted company with manager Tim Sherwood today. The Board has monitored the performances closely all season and believes the results on the pitch were simply not good enough and that a change is imperative.
"However, the club would like to place on record its sincere thanks to Tim for all his efforts during a difficult period last season and for the many positive contributions he has made to the entire football setup during his time with the club. We wish him well in the future.
"Assistant manager Ray Wilkins, first-team coach Mark Robson and performance analyst Seamus Brady have also left with immediate effect and do so with our best wishes. A search for a new manager has commenced and the squad will be managed in the interim by Kevin MacDonald. There will be no further comment from the club at this stage."
With Villa's only top-flight win of the year so far coming on the opening day of the season against newly-promoted Bournemouth, widespread media reports suggested that they had to beat Swansea in order for Sherwood, chosen to replace previous manager Paul Lambert in February, to avoid being dismissed. They took the lead when summer signing Jordan Ayew stopped to head home an inviting cross just past the hour mark, but an excellent free-kick from Gylfi Sigurdsson and a late Andre Ayew winner turned the mood sour in the West Midlands and secured a sixth successive loss.
After the game, Sherwood told Villa's official website: "I don't think we deserved to lose the game. But we haven't got anything from it. It's very disappointing. We need the confidence that comes with a result. That can change anything.That game was a toss of the coin match. I could be sitting here - and Garry Monk could come in here after being very disappointed. That's how close it was - and all of our games have been to be perfectly honest."
The 46-year-old, let go by Tottenham in May 2014 after a brief five-month reign in charge when chairman Daniel Levy exercised a break clause in his 18-month contract, responded to queries over his own future by stating that such a decision was "out of his control" and that the whole club was "in a hole". Earlier contenders to replace Sherwood include former Manchester United and current Real Sociedad boss David Moyes and controversial ex-Leicester chief Nigel Pearson. Brendan Rodgers has also been mentioned in connection with the role following his departure from Liverpool in early October.