Valencia FC have relieved manager Miroslav Djukic of his duties after just 23 games in charge, according to Football Espana.
The news comes just one day after Valencia suffered a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Atletico Madrid, a result which marked their eighth La Liga defeat of the season.
The Serbian coach took the reins from Ernesto Valverde over the summer, but a poor opening half of the season has now cost him his job.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Dec. 16, the former Real Valladolid boss said the following, per Football Espana: "As a professional it is a decision that I do not understand, but I respect it. I wish good luck to the President and to the union of everyone to take the club forward."
Valencia currently sit ninth in La Liga, with just 20 points to show from their opening 16 games. They have looked disjointed throughout the opening four months of the season, conceding 26 goals and scoring just 21.
Djukic was hired in the hope of bringing Champions League football back to the Mestalla, after Los Che narrowly lost out on fourth place to Real Sociedad on the last day of the 2012/13 season.
Valverde’s performances at Athletic Bilbao will have likely heaped further pressure on Djukic.
Valverde, who left Valencia after they failed to qualify for the Champions League, has led his new club to fourth place in the table heading into the Christmas period.
Djukic, the former Valencia player turned coach, will be replaced in the interim by Nico Estevez—per Football Espana—while the club go in search of a permanent replacement.
According to the same article, General manager Rufete said, “I thank Djukic for the effort and work he has done for the club that we are defending.
“It is a tough day for everyone. We have to start working if possible with greater speed. After a start in which we had much confidence, football can present such situations.”
Former Valencia players Juan Antonio Pizzi and Luis Milla have been touted as possible successors.