Mulvey was huckled down the tunnel immediately on the final whistle as boos rang out after the Mariners were humiliated at home by Phoenix in front of a record low crowd of just 3,703.

But although looking like a dead man walking, he later faced the press to insist he intended to stay on at the club he only joined last April.

“One thing I’ll tell you is I won’t quit," he said. "I won’t walk away. I never walk away from anything. If there’s anything that the club needs to do, they’ll do it – that’s the bottom line.

"Me myself, I’m going to front up tomorrow, get back to work, get the team on an even keel and go forward.”

Just a few hours later though, Mariners management made the decision for him.

In a media release sent out just before 1am, Mariners pulled the plug on the Mulvey era after 11 months and terminated his contract with more than a year left to run on it.

The Mariners are rooted to the bottom of the table with just one win in over a year, and eight points behind Brisbane Roar who have had their own nightmare season.

It's the third Mariners coach in a row to exit in March, with Phil Moss and Paul Okon both leaving the club in previous years.

Mulvey is also the second head to roll after a loss to Phoenix this season, with Mark Rudan's Wellington side battering Brisbane Roar 4-1 proving to be the final straw for John Aloisi in December.

The Mariners statement read: "Central Coast Mariners can today advise that the club has parted ways with Head Coach Mike Mulvey, effective immediately.

"Mulvey joined the Central Coast Mariners during the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 pre-season.

"With six games remaining in the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 season, the club will issue a statement when a decision has been made regarding who will lead the team during this period.

"At this stage, there are no other changes to the club’s other coaching and football support staff."

It added: "Central Coast Mariners wish Mulvey all the best in his future endeavours and thank him for his service to the club."