Derby County have sacked manager Nigel Clough in the wake of defeat to his former club Nottingham Forest.
The Sky Bet Championship club made the announcement on Saturday evening, just hours after the Rams’ 1-0 loss at the City Ground.
It was a third defeat in eight days for the team bossed by Sunderland-born Clough, who followed in his late father Brian’s footsteps when he took the job at Derby in January 2009.
Clough was the longest-serving manager in the Championship but the owners decided he had taken the club as far as he was able.
A statement released by Derby said: ‘’Derby County have this evening announced that they have parted company with manager Nigel Clough with immediate effect.
‘’Clough has been in charge at the Rams since January 2009 and the club would like to place on record their thanks to him for his tireless efforts to bring stability to Derby County, and his hard work and dedication throughout his tenure.
‘’However, after much consideration, the board feel it is time to move Derby County forward to the next level, which will necessitate a comprehensive review of the club’s football operations.
‘’The ownership group remain steadfastly committed to the club and maintain their desire to compete at the top end of the Championship this season.
‘’The search is well under way to identifying and appointing a successor, and further announcements will be made in due course.
‘’The club would also like to take this opportunity to wish Nigel Clough well for the future.’’
The defeat at Forest was a first away in the league for Derby but came off the back of a Capital One Cup exit at Leicester and a home league loss to Reading last weekend.
Home form could be a contributing factor to Clough’s departure as the Rams have taken only one point from four matches at Pride Park this season.
Clough’s post-match assessment gave little indication that he suspected his tenure was coming to an end as he defended his side’s performance and suggested he would be looking to bring in a new player on loan.
Captain Richard Keogh was sent off in the game and Clough said: “We have been looking for a centre-half and he is only missing one game but we might have to step it up now.
“If we can get someone in that is better than what we already have then we will.”
Reflecting on what turned out to be his last game in charge, when Jack Hobbs’ header condemned his side to defeat, Clough said: “I am very pleased with the performance, I thought we were very good.
“We are pleased with a lot of things we did, just not the result.
“Just like at Leicester in the (Capital One) cup in midweek we caused our own downfall again with the goal. We should have cleared the ball first of all and then we lost the man from the corner.
“It is a small mistake but we didn’t get away with it and it has cost us the game. Sometimes you get away with things like that but at the moment, with the run we are on, we aren’t.”