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Page last updated at 07:30 GMT, Monday, 30 August 2010 08:30 UK

Southampton sack manager Alan Pardew

Bristol Rovers 0-4 Southampton

Bristol Rovers 0-4 Southampton

League One Southampton have dismissed manager Alan Pardew two days after their 4-0 win over Bristol Rovers.

Dean Wilkins, previously a member of Pardew's coaching staff, has been named caretaker boss and will be assisted by under-21 coach Martin Hunter.

First-team coach Wally Downes and goalkeeping coach Stuart Murdoch have also been relieved of their duties.

Saints, who started the season as favourites to win promotion, are currently 14th in the League One table.

"The club has decided that, to achieve its well known targets, it is essential to make changes to the management," said a Southampton statement.

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"We recognise that frequent changes to the football management are unlikely to assist in the winning of trophies and promotions.

"However, we are taking these steps to achieve our aims, which we share with all supporters, to get promoted this season, and secure long term stability and progress for our football operations."

Wilkins took training on Monday morning as the team prepared for Tuesday night's Johnstone's Paint Trophy match against Swindon.

"The training was good - it was short and it was sharp," Wilkins told the club's website.

"I think in any situation like this there is the initial jaw drop and then it is back to work. I think a large majority of the players in the dressing room have seen situations like this before.

"It is nothing unusual in football and it is a situation that everyone gets used to."

Pardew, previously in charge at Reading, West Ham and Charlton, was appointed in July 2009.

Saints started last season with a 10-point deduction after entering administration the previous campaign.

The club won the Johnstone's Paint Trophy during Pardew's first season in charge but finished one place outside the play-off zone despite a late-season surge.

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There was speculation that Pardew would lose his job at the end of last season but the 49-year-old remained in charge and strengthened his squad in the summer, signing the likes of Ryan Dickson, Frazer Richardson and Danny Butterfield.

Southampton lost their opening game of the current season, at home against Plymouth, drew their second league fixture and thrashed Rovers on Saturday.

They also defeated Bournemouth in the Carling Cup before losing to Premier League Bolton 1-0 in the second round.

Pardew is the fourth Football League manager to leave his club this season, after Steve Coppell at Bristol City, Kevin Blackwell at Sheffield United and Chris Turner at Hartlepool.



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