KARL Robinson has been sacked as head coach of Oxford United.

The club’s board have taken action after the side suffered their seventh defeat in eight matches, in losing 3-0 at home to Bristol Rovers yesterday afternoon.

The club said in a statement: “Oxford United can confirm the departure of Karl Robinson who leaves his role as head coach at the club with immediate effect.

“The board would like to thank Karl for his hard work and efforts in the five years since he joined but recent results and performances mean that a change is needed.

“The search for a new head coach will be thorough and extensive and is already underway.

“While that work is undertaken the existing coaching staff of Craig Short, Leon Blackmore-Such and Wayne Brown will take charge of the first team with their immediate focus being our next game, away at Lincoln City on Saturday.”

Robinson took over as head coach at United in March 2018, exactly two months after Pep Clotet was sacked.

He kept the club in the third tier, before leading them to 12th in his first full season during the 2018/19 campaign.

The following season was interrupted by Covid-19, but the U’s reached the play-off final, where they lost to Wycombe Wanderers at Wembley.

Another unsuccessful play-off push the following year saw United lose out to Blackpool in the semi-finals.

Last season, Robinson led the side to eighth in League One.

This season though has been one of struggle, compounded by the recent run of form.

United last tasted victory on January 21 when they beat Ipswich Town 2-1 at the Kassam Stadium.

Those three points saw the U’s move up to 10th in Sky Bet League One, eight points shy of the play-off places.

However, a dismal run of form which has garnered just one point from 24 available has seen the U’s slip down the table.

When the final whistle went after the early kick-off against Rovers, Robinson’s side sat 17th in the third tier, and six points above the drop zone.

However, results elsewhere in the 3pm kick-offs mean United are now just five points above the bottom four.