Southampton have sensationally sacked manager Alan Pardew following their 4-0 win at Bristol Rovers on Saturday.
A statement released on the clubs official website www.saintsfc.co.uk read:
“Following a review of the current status in and around the First Team, the Club has decided that, to achieve its well known targets, it is essential to make changes to the First Team management and coaching.
“These targets for sustained and significant progress embrace both the First Team and the Football Development & Support Centre as integrated, co-operative units.
“Consequently, the First Team Manager, Alan Pardew; First Team Coach, Wally Downes; and Goalkeeping Coach, Stuart Murdoch have been relieved of their duties with immediate effect. The Club wishes them well for the future.
“While we have commenced our careful evaluation of our candidates and longer term requirements, Dean Wilkins has taken on the caretaker role for the First Team and he will be assisted by Martin Hunter, the Under 21 coach.
“We recognise that frequent changes to the football management are unlikely to assist in the winning of trophies and promotions.
“However, we are taking these steps to achieve our aims, which we share with all supporters, to get promoted this season, and secure long term stability and progress for our football operations.
Pardew took charge of 64 games at Southampton and won 34 games, drew 17 and lost 13. This record is highly impressive given he guided the club through their administration 10 point deduction, following their relegation from the Championship. Last season the club finished in 7th place, 7 points off the play-offs and entered the new season as red hot favourites for the League One title, having the shortest pre-season odds in history.