Reading have announced Brian McDermott has left the club, two days after Saturday's home defeat at the hands of Aston Villa.
The 2-1 loss left the Royals level on points with QPR at the foot of the table, four points from safety. And with nine games to go, the club's owners have opted to relieve McDermott of his duties as they bid to avoid the drop back into the Championship.
"Owner Anton Zingarevich wishes to place on record his thanks to Brian who had achieved great success with the club since taking over as manager in December 2009," the club confirmed on their official website.
"The search for a successor will start immediately and it is hoped that a new manager will be in place as soon as possible to lead the fight against potential relegation."
Reading's next four games will see them take on Manchester United and Arsenal away and Southampton and Liverpool at home. They are now 1.12 to be relegated, while QPR are 1.57 and Wigan, one point above them, are 1.72.
McDermott guided Reading to the Premier League last season, but has paid the price for a poor run of results culminating in four straight defeats.
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