SUNDERLAND have sacked boss Tony Mowbray despite being just three points off the play-offs.
The Black Cats drew 1-1 at Millwall on Saturday and are three matches without a win.
GettyTony Mowbray has been sacked as Sunderland boss[/caption]
GettyThe Black Cats are three points off the play-offs[/caption]
Mowbray, 60, joined the Black Cats in August last year – replacing Stoke City-bound Alex Neil.
He impressively guided them to the Championship play-offs, narrowly losing 3-2 on aggregate to Luton in the semi-finals.
Sunderland currently sit ninth in the table following a decent start to the season.
Yesterday they drew fierce rivals Newcastle in the FA Cup third round in what will be the first Tyne-Wear derby in nearly eight years.
Following defeats to Plymouth Argyle and Huddersfield prior to Saturday’s draw with Millwall, the Black Cats have opted to make a change.
Academy coach Mike Dodds, 37, has been appointed caretaker boss having previously held the position following Lee Johnson‘s sacking.
Mowbray’s assistant Mark Venus has also been axed.
Confirming the decision, Sunderland chairman Kyril Louis-Dreyfus, 26, said: “I would like to place on record my gratitude to Tony for his hard work and commitment to Sunderland, a place where he will always be welcome.
“As custodians of our great club, we believe in our long-term strategy that we hope will ensure sustainability and success for SAFC.
“Central to that approach is a relentless demand for a high performance culture to be implemented throughout the Club and the development of a strong playing identity that you, our loyal supporters, can all be proud of.
“Your continued support will also be fundamental to that progress and we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the Stadium of Light throughout the festive period and as we enter 2024.”
Black Cats sporting director Kristjaan Speakman added: “All at SAFC have thoroughly enjoyed working with Tony and he is quite rightly held in high regard by our players and staff, and our supporters.
“After arriving at an uncertain time, he helped guide us to the Sky Bet Championship Play-Offs and played an important role in developing our team.
“This was a difficult decision to make, but we remain loyal to our ambition and our strategy, and felt that now was the right moment to take this step.
“We are now focused on identifying the right candidate and we will continue to support our coaching team and players throughout the interim period.”
Mowbray is the second Championship boss to have been axed this evening after Swansea parted company with Michael Duff.
The former Barnsley boss lasted just 21 games at the Liberty Stadium, with the Swans down in 18th.
GettyMichael Duff has been sacked by Swansea[/caption]