After Norwich City axed Alex Neil on Friday and Derby County dispensed with Steve McClaren on Sunday, Wigan followed suit in removing Joyce from his post with the club four points adrift of safety with only nine fixtures remaining.
Wigan, who have placed the assistant Graham Barrow in temporary charge for the remainder of the campaign, won only six of their 24 fixtures under Manchester United’s former reserve-team coach Joyce.
The 52-year-old left Old Trafford to sign a three-and-a-half-year contract with Wigan on 2 November with the chairman, David Sharpe, noting at the time that the deal’s length was “a measure of how highly we rate him”.
His work at United, where he helped to nurture the likes of Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard, had impressed Sharpe, though his era started off in disappointing fashion as Reading found themselves 2-0 up five minutes into Joyce’s first game in charge.
He was backed in the winter transfer window as eight players arrived on deadline day alone but, having taken charge of a club in the relegation zone, Joyce was unable to steer them away from trouble.
The League One champions of last season failed to score in eight of their 11 home fixtures under Joyce, and the 1-0 defeat against relegation rivals Bristol City at the DW Stadium on Saturday proved the final straw.
Sharpe, the club chairman, said: “It is unfortunate that we have made this decision but with the team in such a perilous position in the league, we need to act now because we cannot afford to fall any further behind.
“Warren was appointed with the future in mind in terms of developing players but preserving our Championship status is the absolute priority and we have a duty to do whatever gives us the best chance of doing that.
“Results and performances have simply not been up to standard often enough in recent matches and although we acknowledge the difficulties faced in managing a team in a league where we are competing against clubs with much larger budgets, the nature of some of our recent defeats, especially against close rivals, has fallen short in terms of what we as a club, and all our supporters, expect.”
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