Sunderland sack Martin O’Neill

Sunderland have sacked manager Martin O’Neill following the club’s 1-0 loss to Manchester United. The club’s owner has been loyal to O’Niell through his stay at the Stadium of Light, but has axed the Northern Irish manager with Sunderland winless in eight matches and only one point above the relegation zone.

“Sunderland AFC has announced that it has parted company with manager Martin O’Neill this evening,” a statement on Sunderland’s official website read.

“The club would like to place on record its thanks to Martin and wishes him well for the future. An announcement will be made in the coming days regarding a successor.”

O’Neill took over at the club in December 2011, and successfully guided the club out of the relegation zone to end up in 13th place in the 2011/2012 season. But without a win in eight matches and with a tough run of fixtures (against Chelsea, Newcastle United and Everton) ahead of them, Sunderland have “parted” with the sixty-one-year-old. Sunderland currently sit in sixteenth place in the Premier League, only one point above the relegation zone, and could have a tough time staying up this season.

O’Neill’s most likely successors will be either former England boss Steve McClaren, with Paolo Di Canio, Roberto Di Matteo and Mark Hughes also among the rumoured contenders for the top spot.

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