Plymouth Argyle have sacked manager Carl Fletcher after 16 months in charge of the struggling League Two side.
Argyle stand just two points clear of the relegation zone after losing 2-1 at John Ward's Bristol Rovers.
Ward was set to become Argyle director of football just three weeks ago, until being offered the job as Rovers boss.
Former Argyle and Wales midfielder Fletcher, 32, took over as boss, initially as caretaker, after Peter Reid's sacking in September 2011.
In his post-match interview with BBC Radio Devon, he revealed: "[Owner] James Brent has just done it, that's my last game today so that's me got the sack. We'll have to wait and see what the future brings.
"Since I've been down here we've been through a lot, that's football really. I might be a young manager but I know if you don't win games you don't keep your job.
"It's been a tough four years. It's obviously disappointing to end this way but that's life and that's football. It'll be nice to spend some time with the kids and the family and get away from it all.
"The way your life gets overtaken when you're a manager, it's very hard to deal with, and it's been a really good learning curve for me."
The ex-Bournemouth, West Ham, Watford, Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest player retired from playing in the summer when he was handed a new contract as manager.
The club had been actively looking for a director of football to help Fletcher since November.
"The board will now seek promptly to appoint a new manager with significant experience of football management," said an Argyle club statement.
"The team's recent results have not been good enough and, with the club's Football League future paramount, the Argyle board felt that a change was necessary now as we head into an important part of the season."