London – Swansea City have sacked their Danish manager Michael Laudrup with the team two points above the Premier League relegation zone, the Welsh club said in a statement on Tuesday.
“It is a decision we have taken reluctantly,” said Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins. “But it's a decision made in the best interests of Swansea City Football Club and our supporters.
“It is the first time in nearly 10 years that the club has parted with a manager in this way, but we had to remove the constant uncertainty surrounding the club and Michael's long-term future with us.”
Swansea's 2-0 defeat at West Ham United on Saturday was their sixth in eight league games, a run which has left them battling to avoid the drop as they prepare to host fellow strugglers and local rivals Cardiff City on Saturday.
Swansea said one of their former players, Garry Monk, who came on as a substitute in their League Cup final triumph at Wembley under Laudrup last season, will take over as head coach alongside first team coach Alan Curtis for the foreseeable future.
“I had a meeting with Michael today (Tuesday) in a final attempt to support him and establish a way to improve the work of the backroom team to secure the results we need over the final 14 Premier League games,” added Jenkins.
“However, after thinking long and hard about the best way forward, I felt it was unlikely we would achieve a stable environment at the club to allow us to get back to basics and produce the performance levels that have served Swansea City so well over the last few years.
“Now we need to put that uncertainty behind us and move forward as a united football club on all fronts, while placing on record our gratitude to Michael for the work he has done over the last 18 months and wish him well for the future.”
Swansea's small squad has been hampered by playing in the Europa League this term with injuries to key players, including Michu, Jonathan de Guzman, Jose Canas, Pablo Hernandez, Nathan Dyer and goalkeeper Michel Vorm having taken their toll.
Since beating Newcastle United in early December Swansea have had a tough run of games including fixtures with Everton, Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, who are all battling for honours in the top half of the table. – Reuters