LONDON (AP)Patrick Vieira was fired by Crystal Palace on Friday with the team having been dragged into the Premier League’s relegation fight.
Palace is in 12th place in the 20-team league but is only five points ahead of last-place Southampton.
The team has lost three straight league games and has no wins in any competition in 2023.
“It is with enormous regret that this difficult decision has been made,” Palace chairman Steve Parish said. “Ultimately, results in recent months have placed us in a precarious league position and we felt a change is necessary to give us the best chance of retaining Premier League status.”
Palace said the process to find Vieira’s successor has already started.
Vieira, a former Arsenal midfielder, was in the role for 20 months after being appointed in 2021. Three members of his coaching staff, Osian Roberts, Kristian Wilson and Saïd Aïgoun, have also left the club.
Vieira’s departure comes quickly after Palace’s 1-0 loss to Brighton on Wednesday, a result which heightened concerns about the team’s chances of survival this season.
A dire run of form had left Palace without a win in any competition since beating Bournemouth in the league on Dec. 31. Since then, there have been seven losses and five draws in 12 games, 11 of them coming in the league.
Because the league’s bottom places are so congested, 12th-place Palace is only three points above the relegation zone.
Vieira led Palace to a 12th-place finish last season and also to the FA Cup semifinals.
“Patrick’s impact since joining us in the summer of 2021 has been significant, and he is held in the highest regard by myself, and all of his colleagues,” Parish said. “Patrick has given his all to the club, and we all thank him and his team for their service.”
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports