LONDON: Fulham have parted company with manager Claudio Ranieri after just three months in charge, with Scott Parker being appointed as caretaker boss.

The Cottagers were beaten 2-0 at relegation rivals Southampton on Wednesday night, meaning Ranieri had managed just three wins in his spell at Craven Cottage.

The fourth straight Premier League defeat leaves the west London club in 19th place, 10 points from safety with 10 games left, and it was the final straw for chairman Shahid Khan, who decided to make a change.

“Following our discussion this afternoon, Claudio Ranieri agreed to my decision that a change was in the best interest of everyone,” Khan said in a statement released by Fulham.

“No surprise to me, Claudio was a perfect gentleman, as always. Claudio’s tenure at Fulham didn’t produce the outcome we anticipated and needed when I appointed him as manager in November, but be assured he is not solely to blame for the position we are in today.

“Claudio walked into a difficult situation, inheriting a side that gained only one point in its prior eight matches, and he provided an immediate boost by leading our Club to nine points in his first eight matches as Manager. Though we were unable to maintain that pace thereafter, I am grateful for his effort. Claudio leaves Fulham as our friend and he will undoubtedly experience success again soon.

Scott Parker appointed caretaker manager

“I am asking Scott Parker to serve as our caretaker manager. Scott’s immediate assignment is merely to help us stabilize, grow and rediscover ourselves as a football club. If Scott can answer that challenge, and our players respond to the opportunity, perhaps victories will follow in the months ahead.

“What’s most important at this moment, however, is to regroup in a smart and deliberate manner that will serve our long-term vision for sustainable success. If we’re able to do that and win some matches to make a stand late in the season, all the better.”

Claudio Ranieri added: “I am obviously disappointed with the recent results and that we could not build on the good start we made following my appointment. Finally, I would like to thank the Club, the players and the fans for the support they have given me during my time at the Club.”

Ranieri, who took Leicester to the Premier League title in 2016, has overseen only three victories, with 11 defeats from 17 games in charge.

Slavisa Jokanovic had guided Fulham into the Premier League with victory over Aston Villa in the play-off final at Wembley, but was dismissed after a poor start to life in the top flight.