Struggling Sochaux have sacked manager Mehmed Bazdarevic after less than a year in charge.
Article continues below ...
The club confirmed the departure of Bazdarevic, who made more than 350 appearances for the club as a player, following a 14-game winless run in all competitions which has left them bottom of Ligue 1.
Eric Hely has been installed as caretaker boss with a press conference set to be held later this morning.
"FC Sochaux-Montbeliard, given the need to redress its position in Ligue 1, has decided to make a change at the head of its first team. As a result Mecha Bazdarevic is no longer the head coach of FCSM," a statement on the club’s website read.
"Starting this Tuesday, March 6, Eric Hely has been entrusted in interim charge."
Former reserve-team coach Hely takes over with Sochaux five points adrift of safety and without a win since their upset 2-1 success over Lyon in early November.
Bazdarevic, whose last game in charge was the weekend’s home 1-1 draw with Valenciennes, joined Sochaux in June last year to replace Francis Gillot, who steered the club into fifth place before joining Bordeaux.
Chairman Alexandre Lacombe revealed in this morning’s press conference that he had lost faith in Bazdarevic’s ability to save his side from the drop.
"We felt that Mehmed Bazdarevic and his staff had no solutions to get the team out of this complicated situation," Lacombe said.
"It is not my policy normally to separate from a coach during the season. I had to do something.
"I’m not saying that this coaching change will save us (from relegation). While we know we have talent on this team, it will be very hard. We have to believe."
Lacombe admitted firing Bazdarevic had been made more difficult given his iconic status at Sochaux following his long playing career at the club.
"We spoke to him on Monday afternoon. It is obviously very upsetting because he has a special relationship with the club, the city and the region," he said.
"But we had to make a decision. The results are the crucial thing."