LONDON: Martin Jol has been sacked by Fulham, with head coach Rene Meulensteen taking responsibility for the first team.

Jol had been in charge since June 2011 and his dismissal comes on the back of five straight Premier League defeats that leave Fulham 18th in the table.

“Our poor form and results this season are undeniable, and Fulham supporters deserve better,” said Fulham chairman Shahid Khan in a statement.

Jol said: “I’m disappointed but there are better days ahead for Fulham.”

Khan acted following a 3-0 defeat at West Ham on Saturday, a game in which the Cottagers failed to register a single shot on target.

Khan added: “With more than half the season still ahead, an immediate change was necessary. Martin was very gracious and I appreciate his understanding of the situation.”

Disappointing defeat

Before his side played the Hammers, Jol had talked of how the outcome of that game and Wednesday’s match against his former club Tottenham could decide his fate.

Asked after Fulham’s disappointing defeat and display in east London whether he was confident he would still be in charge against Spurs, he replied: “It is not in my hands.”

Meulensteen, 49, will now take charge of the team for Wednesday’s match at Craven Cottage.

He was appointed head coach of Fulham on 13 November after a long spell at Manchester United, where he worked alongside Sir Alex Ferguson from 2007 until the Scot’s retirement last summer.

Meulensteen had initially turned down the chance to work alongside his fellow Dutchman Jol in October as he continued talks with the Qatar FA about becoming a technical director.

Manchester United striker Robin van Persie has described Meulensteen¬† – who left Old Trafford in June after new United boss David Moyes opted to appoint his own backroom staff – as “one of the best coaches in the world”.

He initially worked as youth team coach at Old Trafford but became United’s first-team coach in 2007.

Russian role

In August, he left Anzhi Makhachkala only 16 days after being appointed head coach as the Russian club attempted to trim their wage bill.

“I appreciate the faith Mr Khan has put in me and will do my very best to honour his trust,” said Meulensteen, who managed Danish club Brondby for a short spell in 2006.

“We aim to get Fulham back on track, starting Wednesday night.”

Jol is the third managerial change in the Premier League this season after Ian Holloway left Crystal Palace on October 23 and Sunderland sacked Paolo Di Canio on September 23.

The 57-year-old former Ajax, Hamburg and Spurs manager steered Fulham to ninth spot in his first season in charge at Craven Cottage in 2011-12.

Fulham finished 12th the following campaign but despite an opening-day win at Sunderland, the Cottagers have struggled this term.

Since successive wins against Stoke and Crystal Palace in October, they have lost against Southampton, Manchester United, Liverpool, Swansea and West Ham.

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