"Real Betis, due to the delicate sporting situation which the team finds itself in and the necessity to change the dynamic of results, communicates its decision to relieve Pepe Mel of his functions," said Betis in a statement on their internet site.

"Juan Carlos Garrido is the new coach of Real Betis until the end of the season and as of tomorrow (Tuesday) will take over the club's reins."

The 50-year-old Mel had been in charge since the summer of 2010 when the club were in the second division.

He guided Betis back up to the top flight and into the Europa League, where they booked their place in the knock-out stages last week.

However, having gone eight league matches without a win, including Sunday's 2-2 draw with fellow strugglers Rayo Vallencano, the club decided to act.

Garrido, 44, took unfashionable Villarreal to an impressiove fourth-placed finish in 2011, however he was sacked in December that year after a poor start to the following season.

He took over at FC Bruges in November 2012, leading them to a third-placed finish in the Belgian League, although he was then sacked in September.