Swansea City have sacked manager Michael Laudrup just four days before the South Wales derby against Cardiff City.
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The news comes just 24 hours after Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins dismissed reports that the future of Laudrup was up for discussion.
Swansea find themselves just two points clear of the Premier League relegation zone after winning just one of their last 10 league matches -- and only eight top-flight games since they beat Bradford City in the final of the Capital One Cup last February.
Laudrup himself was last week forced to deny that he could leave Swansea amid talk of a dressing-room revolt at the club.
Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at West Ham added to the concerns over the Swans’ top-flight safety, with their next game crucial to their hopes of turning things around as they welcome neighbours Cardiff to the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.
Added to that, constant speculation over Laudrup's long-term future, with other Premier League clubs and top European teams said to be monitoring his availability, is said to have unsettled the Swansea board.
Garry Monk, who was only confirmed as a new member of the coaching team earlier on Tuesday, will take over as head coach alongside current first team coach Alan Curtis for the foreseeable future.
Monk will face a testing series of matches which could define Swansea's season. After the weekend meeting with Cardiff, they have league games against Stoke and Liverpool as well as an FA Cup fifth-round date at Everton -- not to mention a two-legged Europa League last-32 meeting with Serie A high-flyers Napoli.
"It is a decision we have taken reluctantly," said Jenkins in a statement on the club's official website. "But it’s a decision made in the best interests of Swansea City Football Club and our supporters.
"It is the first time in nearly 10 years that the club has parted with a manager in this way, but we had to remove the constant uncertainty surrounding the club and Michael’s long-term future with us.
"I had a meeting with Michael today in a final attempt to support him and establish a way to improve the work of the backroom team to secure the results we need over the final 14 Premier League games.
"However, after thinking long and hard about the best way forward, I felt it was unlikely we would achieve a stable environment at the club to allow us to get back to basics and produce the performance levels that have served Swansea City so well over the last few years.
"Now we need to put that uncertainty behind us and move forward as a united football club on all fronts, while placing on record our gratitude to Michael for the work he has done over the last 18 months and wish him well for the future.
"I hope all our supporters can fully understand how difficult this period has been for us and I would urge everyone connected to the football club to get behind Garry Monk, the staff and players."