15:48 01 April 2013
With just seven games to go, Sunderland decided to let go of Martin O’Neil. He was axed after the team plunged down the table after winning just one game out of 10 and scoring just three points out of a possible 24.
The Irishman, who was appointed in December 2011, was able to steer the club to 13th place in the table for his first season.
A club statement said: “Sunderland AFC has parted company with manager Martin O’Neill this evening.
“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 failed to deliver despite spending £29million on front men Steven Fletcher, Adam Johnson and Danny Graham.
Names like Steve McClaren, the former England manager, and Mark Huges, the ex-QPR chief, came up as possible substitutes. However, some believe that the best alternative is to ask development coach and Sunderland legend Kevin Ball to take over for the remaining seven games.
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