BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) -- Premier League club West Bromwich Albion fired head coach Alan Irvine on Monday after winning just one of its last nine games, saying a change is necessary to boost its hopes of avoiding relegation.
The club said in a statement late Monday that "Irvine leaves the club with immediate effect," and that assistant head coach Rob Kelly will take charge of the team for Thursday's game against West Ham. West Brom said it hopes to name a permanent successor this weekend, with former Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood tipped by British media to be among the leading candidates.
West Brom's Technical Director Terry Burton said the decision to fire Irvine was a matter of "regret but necessity" because of the team's continuing poor results.
West Brom has won just four of 19 league games and is 16th at the halfway point, one point clear of the relegation zone after losing seven of its last nine.
"We appointed Alan in the summer convinced that we had taken on one of the foremost coaches in the U.K. and nothing that has happened since then has altered our view," Burton said. "But sadly that simply has not translated into results and they remain the ultimate currency of Alan's position. Securing a sixth season in the Premier League is the over-riding target and sometimes unpleasant decisions have to be taken to serve that imperative."
Irvine becomes the second Premier League manager to be sacked this season, just two days after Neil Warnock was let go by Crystal Palace.