Former Real Madrid assistant Paul Clement sacked by Derby
Paul Clement has been sacked as head coach at Derby, the Sky Bet Championship club have announced.
The Rams announced on Monday evening that Clement, who was appointed to the role last summer, had been relieved of his duties, with academy director Darren Wassall taking over until the end of the season.
Derby are without a win in their last seven league games and lie fifth in the Championship table.
The midlands outfit - eighth last season under Steve McClaren - are currently five points behind leaders Hull and second-placed Middlesbrough, having been top themselves on Boxing Day.
Derby chairman Mel Morris said in Monday's announcement that when Clement came in "promotion this season was not the primary target".
Morris stressed that playing style and squad strength had been deemed "the priorities", and that Clement had been axed because the club had "not made enough progress" on that front under the 44-year-old former Chelsea, Paris St Germain and Real Madrid coach.
"We are grateful for the contribution Paul has made to the football club, but the time is right to make a change," Morris said.
"When Paul joined us last year we worked with him to develop a plan for the club which we asked him to embrace.
"It was clear in this plan, which was briefed to supporters, players, sponsors and all our stakeholders last summer that promotion this season was not the primary target.
"The priorities were building on the Derby way and style of football enjoyed in the past two seasons, adding depth and strength to our playing squad and developing and improving player and team performance.
"Sadly, on these measurements, we have not made enough progress and that is why we have decided to part company with Paul."
Derby, who spent considerable money on the likes of Tom Ince and record signing Bradley Johnson last summer, won 13 of their 30 league fixtures with Clement as boss.