LONDON (Reuters) -- Newcastle United sacked manager Chris Hughton on Monday, saying they needed someone with more experience to stop them making an immediate return to the Championship (second division).
Hughton was appointed full-time manager in October 2009 and led Newcastle back to the Premier League last season but rumours of his dismissal have swirled around St James' Park for months.
On Sunday, Newcastle lost 3-1 at West Bromwich Albion to slip to 11th in the standings after collecting two points from five games.
"Newcastle United have today parted company with manager Chris Hughton. Goalkeeping coach Paul Barron also leaves the club today," the club said in a statement on their website (www.nufc.co.uk).
"The board would like to place on record their thanks to Chris for his considerable efforts during the club's transition from Championship to Premier League football. Chris has shown exceptional character and commitment since being appointed.
"Regrettably the board now feels that an individual with more managerial experience is needed to take the club forward.
"The task of appointing a new manager now begins. An announcement will be made shortly regarding transitional arrangements pending the appointment of a successor."
The new manager will be the 12th in the last 13 years to be given the task of trying to revive the north-east club's glory days.
Hughton, a former Tottenham Hotspur and Ireland fullback, spent 14 years as a coach at Spurs before joining Newcastle as a coach in 2008.
After former striker Alan Shearer was drafted in but failed to prevent the club's relegation from the Premier League in 2009, Hughton took charge as a caretaker before getting the job on a permanent basis three months into the season.
Having secured promotion as champions he had a decent start to their Premier League campaign.
They thrashed Aston Villa 6-0 in their second game, beat local rivals Sunderland 5-1 and had impressive away wins at Arsenal and Everton and a draw at Chelsea.
The club's home form, however, has been poor, with three defeats and three draws from their eight games.