Widnes Vikings have parted company with coach Steve McCormack following the 22-20 defeat by Oldham on Friday in the Northern Rail Cup.
Vikings operations manager Pat Cluskey said the club thought a change was needed after the shock defeat.
"I think it shows how important the Northern Rail Cup is to the club," Cluskey told BBC Radio Merseyside.
"[Chairman] Steve O'Connor met with Steve McCormack this morning and the decision was take to part company."
Cluskey added: "We need to be in that final and to lose our opening game against probably the weakest team we'd be playing, which is Oldham, maybe some alarm bells were set ringing."
The outgoing coach wishes the club every success for the rest of the season and admits he is saddened to have left.
It's a disappointing day but I have really enjoyed my time at Widnes
Former Widnes coach Steve McCormack
"It's a disappointing day but I have really enjoyed my time at Widnes," said McCormack.
"The club has suffered many ups and downs both on and off the field and I hope that eventually it achieves its goal of a return to the top flight competition."
Assistant coach John Stankevitch has taken the reins at the club in a caretaker capacity.