Fulham have sacked manager Lawrie Sanchez after just eight months at Craven Cottage.

The former Northern Ireland boss, who succeeded Chris Coleman towards the end of last season and kept the Cottagers up, has won just three games this season. Fulham, who are currently eighteenth in the Premier League table, were beaten by Joey Barton’s injury-time penalty as Newcastle claimed a crushing win on Saturday.

A club statement read: “Following a run of disappointing results the club is languishing in the relegation zone of the Premier League table, and losing its Premiership status is a proposition that simply can not be contemplated at this stage in the club’s on-going development. The club is confident that it will find the right replacement to increase its chances of remaining in the Premiership, which is of vital importance. The club would like to thank Lawrie for helping the club through a difficult period at the end of last season, and thank him for his service over the last eight months.”

First team coach Ray Lewington and reserve team manager Billy McKinlay will take temporary charge of the first team squad whilst Fulham seek a replacement for Sanchez. The early favourite appears to be former Fulham midfielder John Collins, who abruptly resigned as Hibernian manager earlier this week.