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Derek Adams has resigned as Ross County manager after less than three months in charge after a 5-0 defeat at Motherwell hastened the end of an unhappy third spell at the club.

The cinch Premiership club announced Adams would leave with immediate effect, less than 24 hours after their Fir Park thrashing saw them stuck in 11th place and six points behind the team who had been immediately above them in the league.

Adams cast doubt over his future after the match after admitting Motherwell could have scored more goals.

In a statement, chairman Roy MacGregor said: “We have agreed to accept his resignation in the best interest of both Derek and the club.

“We would like to place on record our thanks to Derek, and we wish him well for whatever he chooses to do in the future.”

Adams returned to County on November 20 after leaving Morecambe to replace the sacked Malky Mackay.

The 48-year-old revealed his decision came “after much consideration in recent weeks”.

He added on the County website: “Over my 12 league games in charge, we moved six points clear of the team directly below and have been extremely close to gaining more victories and draws along the way.

“Ross County Football Club is close to my heart after twice playing here and managing for a third time.

“I would like to take the opportunity to thank chairman Roy MacGregor and (chief executive) Steven Ferguson and wish them well for the future.”

Adams secured seven points from his first three games in charge but the Dingwall side have only collected two points from a possible 24 since and exited the Scottish Gas Scottish Cup with a 3-0 home defeat against Partick Thistle.

Adams claimed his former club Morecambe were 100 times better than County after losing a late winning goal against Dundee in his fifth match in charge and launched a scathing attack on the “shocking” standard of Scottish football.

The former Plymouth and Bradford manager then hinted after the cup defeat by Thistle that he would have had second thoughts about taking the job for a third time had he done more homework.

In an interview with BBC Scotland at Fir Park, he admitted he would “think things through” and “look at the bigger picture” for the club and himself.

Adams signed seven players in January but the reshaping of his squad did not have any immediate positive effect and he was hit by long-term injuries to the likes of defenders Jack Baldwin and Connor Randall.

County will now look for a solution ahead of their next game against Rangers at Ibrox on February 17 with the backroom staff remaining in position.