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By ESPN Staff

Sanchez leaves Fulham with 'immediate effect'

Fulham have parted company with manager Lawrie Sanchez with immediate effect, the club announced today.

The club posted a short statement on their website this morning confirming their decision to replace the former Northern Ireland boss.

The statement said: 'Fulham Football Club today announced its decision to replace Lawrie Sanchez as manager of Fulham Football Club with immediate effect.

'Ray Lewington and Billy McKinlay will be in charge of the team whilst a search for a permanent replacement takes place.'

The club have attributed their decision to their current poor run of form.

The Cottagers are currently 18th in the Barclays Premier League with 13 points from 17 games.

The statement added: 'Following a run of disappointing results the club is languishing in the relegation zone of the Premier League table, and losing its Premiership status is a proposition that simply can not be contemplated at this stage in the club's on-going development.

'The club is confident that it will find the right replacement to increase its chances of remaining in the Premiership, which is of vital importance.

'The club would like to thank Lawrie for helping the Club through a difficult period at the end of last season, and thank him for his service over the last eight months.'

Sanchez was appointed on a caretaker basis after the departure of Chris Coleman last season and given the job full-time in May.

The latest development is sure to fuel rumours linking the club with former player John Collins, who resigned as manager of Hibernian yesterday.

Coleman was removed for similar reasons last April but the club were impressed as Sanchez steered the club to safety.

Sanchez was initially appointed with the permission of the Irish Football Association but he relinquished his international duties when Fulham moved to make him full-time.

Fulham have won just twice in the league all season, the last time being their 3-1 success over Reading on November 3.