Struggling Bundesliga side Hoffenheim sacked coach Markus Babbel on Monday the day after a 4-1 drubbing by Werder Bremen left them 16th in the table and with nine defeats in their last 10 matches.
The 40-year-old former German international - who has previously coached Hertha Berlin and VfB Stuttgart - will be replaced temporarily by the Under-23 team coach Frank Kramer.
"The deteriorating situation on the sporting front and the negative atmosphere left me no choice," said club manager Andreas Mueller.
"We must push the 'reset' button and start afresh," added Mueller, who conceded it had been a difficult decision to take.
Mueller said that Babbel - whose overall record was seven wins, eight draws and 14 defeats - had worked hard, but that things simply hadn't worked out.
"I am conscious of the work that Markus has put in. What is dreadful is that the team didn't follow his lead on the pitch," he said.
"The challenge now is to avoid relegation."
Babbel, who had a distinguished playing career playing for both Bayern Munich and Liverpool, had been in charge since February and his contract ran till June 30 2014.
He is the second Bundesliga coach to lose his job this season, veteran Felix Magath having been sacked by VfL Wolfsburg in October.