Angelo Alessio: Italian sacked as Kilmarnock manager

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Alessio speaks after last game as Killie boss

Angelo Alessio has been sacked by Kilmarnock after 22 games in charge of the Scottish Premiership club.

The Italian, 54, succeeded Steve Clarke on a three-year deal in June and began with a Europa League qualifying exit to Welsh part-timers Connah's Quay Nomads.

Kilmarnock currently sit fifth in the top flight, having won one of their last eight matches and gone four without victory.

Assistant manager Alex Dyer has been put in temporary charge.

"Everyone at the club would like to thank Angelo for his efforts during his time with Kilmarnock and we wish him every success for the future," a Kilmarnock statement said.

How did his tenure unfold?

Alessio, Antonio Conte's former assistant at Chelsea, Juventus and Italy, had gone more than 10 years since being a manager when he moved to Rugby Park in a bold appointment by club owner Billy Bowie.

He had a hard act to follow with Clarke having led Kilmarnock to third place last season - with a club record points total for the second successive campaign - before leaving for the Scotland job.

After the embarrassing Europa League exit under Alessio - Kilmarnock's first European action in 18 years - captain Gary Dicker said reports of unrest at Rugby Park were "wide of the mark".

Kilmarnock then opened the Premiership campaign with one point from three matches, but had climbed to third by 26 October with five wins in seven league games before the slump that led to the manager's dismissal.

Alessio, who also presided over a League Cup quarter-final loss to Hibernian on penalties, took charge for the final time in Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Ross County. That was the club's third fixture in a row without scoring and they next face Motherwell at home on Saturday.

Kilmarnock's defensive stats of 21 goals conceded in 18 games is bettered only by Celtic and Rangers in the Premiership this season. And while the Ayrshire club have netted less than a goal a game on average, four other top-flight sides have scored fewer.

alessio stat

Discontent behind the scenes - analysis

BBC Scotland's Jonathan Sutherland

There has been a degree of discontent behind the scenes at Kilmarnock ever since Alessio took the reins.

Veteran defender Kirk Broadfoot criticised his training after leaving for St Mirren and he was not the only player unimpressed by the Italian's methods. It's also understand there were doubts in terms of work on identifying signing targets.

To his credit, Alessio bounced back from the ignominy of the Europa League defeat by Connah's Quay Nomads to a degree - even managing to win a manager of the month award - but there was a lingering question of how much that was down to the manager, or the players who had achieved so much under Clarke.

One win in the last eight games was not good, but it seems it was more the nature of the morale-sapping 1-0 defeat at Ross County that signalled a need for change.

Dyer turned down the chance to replace Clarke in the summer and perhaps it just wasn't the right time. But the Englishman remains a hugely popular figure at Kilmarnock and is now the leading contender to land the job on a full-time basis.

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