Aston Villa have sacked head coach Steven Gerrard after their loss to Fulham.
Gerrard travelled back to the Midlands on the Villa team coach with the players. He was expected to say his farewells to the squad when they returned to their Bodymoor Heath training ground.
The 42-year-old oversaw a 3-0 defeat to Fulham on Thursday night, with Villa announcing his departure an hour after full-time.
He leaves the club after a poor start to the season that has seen the Midlands club win just two of their opening 11 Premier League games.
Brentford’s Thomas Frank is a manager admired by the Villa board and will be considered as part of the search to replace Gerrard.
Gerrard left Scottish side Rangers to take up the reins at Aston Villa in November 2021.
But the former Liverpool and England captain has presided over just eight wins this calendar year.
A Villa spokesman said: “We would like to thank Steven for his hard work and commitment and wish him well for the future.”
After a recent 1-1 draw against struggling Nottingham Forest, Gerrard had pointed the finger at his “big hitters,” saying: “There is a lot of frustration there. I have challenged the forward players to give us more in that area of the pitch. We just need more quality from some of our big hitters.”
But though he had continued to strike a bullish tone about reversing his side’s slump, a 2-0 defeat against Chelsea was followed by a 3-0 defeat to Fulham. The defeat on Thursday night also saw Douglas Luiz sent off for a headbutt.
Gerrard was backed heavily in the summer transfer market. He brought in Diego Carlos, Philippe Coutinho, Leander Dendoncker, Boubacar Kamara and Robin Olsen as he set about improving his side.