Former Liverpool coach Alex Miller has been sacked from his post as coach of J.League side JEF United Chiba.
Miller, who was director of scouting under Gerard Houllier at Anfield before being given a coaching job with the first team after the arrival of Rafael Benitez, joined JEF United in May last year and helped the team survive their relegation battle from Japan's top flight.
Under the 60-year-old Scotsman's guidance, however, Chiba have struggled again this season, and are languishing in the relegation zone on 19 points from as many games.
Chiba president Hirokazu Miki said: "Last season Mr Miller worked under difficult circumstances with the team to help us remain in the first division, which we respect him for very much.
"However, we made this decision after having seen how the team played over the last 19 matches this season.''
Assistant coach Atsuhiko Ejiri has been put in charge of the first team following Miller's dismissal.
He will make his managerial debut on Saturday in a J. League Division One match at Jubilo Iwata. His contract runs through to the end of January.
"Our new manager Ejiri knows our team very well and we believe that he is a coach who we trust with the long-term future of our club,'' Miki said.