Radio Sandwell Sport

Sunderland sack manager Martin O'Neill

2013-03-31 00:02:10

Martin O'Neill

Relegation-threatened Sunderland have sacked manager Martin O'Neill  following a poor run of results.

The Black Cats sit one point above the Premier League relegation zone with seven games left after a 1-0 defeat by Manchester United on Saturday.

Sunderland are without a victory in eight matches and have won only three points out of 24 during that spell.

A successor to the 61-year-old, who joined the club in 2011, "will be made in the coming days", the club added.

There was no hint of an exit for O'Neill in owner Ellis Short's programme notes before the game against the league leaders, with the American instead calling for a united front.


Martin O'Neill

"Of course, there is nobody that is happy with our current position and the way our season is going," he wrote. "The reality is that we have a fight on our hands with eight games remaining.

"But right now, it is important for us all to be on the same side and get behind the team. Not being together will not help us to get results, so let's stand shoulder to shoulder and give the team our full support."

O'Neill took over from Steve Bruce 16 months ago, leading Sunderland to seven wins in his first 10 fixtures to ease any relegation fears on their way to a 13th-placed finish.

The former Wycombe, Norwich, Leicester, Celtic and Aston Villa boss looked to build on that campaign by signing England winger Adam Johnson and Scotland striker Steven Fletcher last summer.


Results did not follow, however, and the club has sunk down to 16th place in the table following the latest loss, which occurred without topscorer Fletcher and captain Lee Cattermole after the duo were ruled out for the season because of injury.

He leaves the Wearside club with a record of 16 wins from 55 Premier League matches.

Speaking after the game, O'Neill remained optimistic of securing Sunderland's safety.

"I am as buoyant now as - I was nearly going to say as I have always been," he said.

"What is it - the half-full or the half-empty glass? I'm even going to the three-quarters full.

"There is a real determination in the dressing room. The players are obviously disappointed, but they can take a lot from the second half."

The Northern Irishman's departure makes him the fifth top-flight manager to lose his job this season. He follows Roberto Di Matteo from Chelsea, Mark Hughes from Queens Park Rangers, Nigel Adkins from Southampton and Brian McDermott from Reading.


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