The Newcastle Jets have sacked coach Gary van Egmond following their heavy A-League football defeat to bottom-placed Melbourne Heart.
Jets youth league coach and former Socceroo striker Clayton Zane is tipped to be handed the job in a caretaker capacity for the rest of the season.
Speculation about van Egmond's future had been mounting for months but it was believed the club would wait until the end of the season when his current contract expires before replacing him.
But the team's poor recent form appears to have been a catalyst with the Jets' 3-1 loss to bottom-placed Heart on Friday night seen as the final straw.
Newcastle remain in finals contention just a point outside the top six, but have been on the slide for several weeks, winning just one of their past six games and have only one competition point to show from their past four encounters.