Javi Calleja has returned as Villarreal coach less than two months after being sacked, the club have confirmed.
Calleja was shown the exit on December 10 with Villarreal 17th in LaLiga, and Luis Garcia Plaza was chosen to replace him.
But Garcia Plaza suffered the same fate as Calleja on Tuesday, having won just once in nine matches across all competitions since taking the reins.
Calleja, a former Villarreal player, led the club to a commendable fifth-place finish last season, before a poor start to the 2018-19 campaign cost him.
President Fernando Roig confirms that Javi Calleja will return as Villarreal manager after the departure of Luis García Plaza. "It's my decision and I take all the responsibility," explains the man in charge. pic.twitter.com/JmmwDL2yrG— Villarreal CF English (@Eng_Villarreal) January 29, 2019
He returns with the Yellow Submarine even more embroiled in a relegation battle than when he left, as they sit 19th and five points adrift of safety.
The club did not confirm how long Calleja's contract is, however president Fernando Roig suggested he will be in place initially until the end of the season.
"Villarreal and I distinguish ourselves by doing the opposite of what many people expect and I assume all the responsibility of the decision," Roig told reporters at a news conference.
"It is my decision and I assume the decision until the end of the season."
Paradoxically, the Castellon side have given a good account of themselves against La Liga's big-hitters.
Real Madrid were held to a 2-2 draw when the two sides met at the start of January, with Santi Cazorla's double ensuring a point for the hosts; while second-placed Atletico were also frustrated and had to settle for a tie.