Chris Beech has today left Carlisle United, the club have announced.

The head coach's departure has been confirmed in a statement by the Blues.

It follows yesterday's 3-0 defeat at Bristol Rovers which plunged United to third bottom in League Two.

Beech's assistant Gavin Skelton has been placed in caretaker charge, along with experienced youth coach Eric Kinder.

The club's statement said: "Carlisle United Football Club can confirm that head coach Chris Beech has left the club with immediate effect.

"Gavin Skelton and Eric Kinder will take temporary charge of first team affairs.

"The club would like to thank Chris for his efforts over the past two years and will provide further updates in due course."

Carlisle's defeat at the Memorial Stadium proved the last straw with a decision understood to have been effectively taken last night.

It was a third consecutive loss in the league without scoring, with United having taken one point from their last five games and won just twice in 11 matches so far in League Two.

They sit three points off the bottom of the table and are facing a fight to save their Football League status.

Today's news brings Beech's near two-year tenure to an end.

He was appointed in November 2019 and led the Blues to safety in a campaign curtailed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The ex-Rochdale coach then guided Carlisle to the top of League Two midway through last season before United fell away to 10th.

A poor start to the current campaign has now seen the 47-year-old's time at Brunton Park end.

The Blues have indicated that they will not be commenting beyond today's short statement until later in the week.

It will be a second spell at the temprary helm for Skelton, after he took caretaker charge for two games in 2019 after the departure of Steven Pressley.

Further coverage on Chris Beech's exit:

An inevitable decision - but United's problems run deeper: click here

Fans' trust say Blues had little alternative but to sack Beech: click here

Pictures that sum up a day of despair for Carlisle: click here