Ross County manager Derek Adams has resigned with the team second-bottom in the Scottish Premiership.
The former Livingston and Aberdeen player only lasted 79 days in the job, overseeing 12 games.
County have lost seven of their previous nine matches, only collecting two points in that run, and are 11th in the league -the same position they found themselves in when Adams was appointed for a third time in November.
In a club statement published on Wednesday evening, a day after County were thrashed 5-0 by Motherwell, Adams said: “After much consideration in recent weeks, I have made the decision to resign from my position.
“Over my 12 league games in charge, we moved six points clear of the team directly below and have been extremely close to gaining more victories and draws along the way.
“Ross County Football Club is close to my heart after twice playing here and managing for a third time.”
Chairman Roy MacGregor added: “We would like to place on record our thanks to Derek, and we wish him well for whatever he chooses to do in the future.”
Adams secured seven points from his first three games in charge but the Dingwall side have only collected two points from a possible 24 since and exited the Scottish Gas Scottish Cup with a 3-0 home defeat against Partick Thistle.
Adams claimed his former club Morecambe were 100 times better than County after losing a late winning goal against Dundee in his fifth match in charge and launched a scathing attack on the “shocking” standard of Scottish football.
The former Plymouth and Bradford manager then hinted after the cup defeat by Thistle that he would have had second thoughts about taking the job for a third time had he done more homework.
Adams signed seven players in January but the reshaping of his squad did not have any immediate positive effect and he was hit by long-term injuries to the likes of defenders Jack Baldwin and Connor Randall.
County will now look for a solution ahead of their next game against Rangers at Ibrox on February 17 with the backroom staff remaining in position.
Lennon: He never looked happy
Speaking to Sky Sports Neil Lennon, James McFadden and Kris Boyd reflected on the decision.
Neil Lennon: “Maybe he’s done Ross County a favour, giving them time to get someone else in to maybe see it through until the end of the season. He’s never looked happy. Some of his interviews after games were, quite frankly, shocking. It wouldn’t have helped the morale in the dressing room.”
Kris Boyd: “I think it’s obvious to see why it hasn’t worked out. You can’t go and lambast your players in every interview and then expect them to perform for you every weekend. You might be the best coach in the world, you can galvanise players behind closed doors, but if you’re having a go at them in public they’ll switch off.”
James McFadden: “I’m not really surprised. It’s a nightmare for Ross County. They’ve changed the squad about in January, it looks like it’s going to be another playoff for them.”
Ross County’s next five Scottish Premiership fixtures
- Rangers (a) – February 14
- Dundee (a) – February 17
- Livingston (h) – February 24
- St Mirren (h) – February 27
- Hibernian (a) – March 2