Bundesliga strugglers Greuther Furth have sacked their coach Mike Buskens, an announcement from the club has confirmed.
Buskens, 44, steered the club into the German top flight for the first time in their history, but they have won only twice in the league all season.
Furth chief executive Helmut Hack said: "As we know what we owe Mike Buskens, it was a very difficult decision for us.
"But we still have a chance to stay in the league. That's why want to try to give the team a new impetus."
Under-23 coach Ludwig Preis will take over as caretaker, with sporting director Rouven Schroder as his assistant. Schroder said: "This is only an interim solution until we have a new head coach."
Furth will consider longer-term options after the match against Bayer Leverkusen at the weekend, with the new coach to stay in charge even in the event of relegation.
On Sunday, Hack had backed Buskens after the 1-0 defeat away to Fortna Dusseldorf, telling kicker: "The coach is not an issue."
But with TSG Hoffenheim in the relegation play-off spot and only four points ahead, Hack said he believed Furth could still get out of trouble and added: "It is obvious that we will take all measures necessary to take this chance."
Buskens arrived at Furth in December 2009, winning promotion to the Bundesliga in his second full season. His contract had recently been extended until summer 2013.