London: Relegation-threatened Premier League club Sunderland has sacked manager Martin O`Neill external following a poor run of results.
The Black Cats sit only 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 win in eight matches and have picked up only three points out of 24 during that spell, and the club said a decision about O`Neill`s successor would be made in the coming days.
There was no hint of an exit for the 61-year-old in chairman Ellis Short`s programme notes before the game against the league leaders, with the American instead calling for a united front, the paper reported.
Northern Irishman 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 paper said.
The former Wycombe, Norwich, Leicester, Celtic and Aston Villa boss looked to build on those solid foundations by signing England winger Adam Johnson and Scotland striker Steven Fletcher last summer.
Results did not follow, however, and the Black Cats have fallen to 16th place in the table following their latest defeat, which occurred without their top scorer Fletcher and captain Lee Cattermole after the injured duo were ruled out for the season, the paper concluded.