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Bruce dismissed as Sunderland manager

November 30, 2011 -- Updated 1840 GMT (0240 HKT)
Steve Bruce has become the first Premier League manager to lose his job this season after Sunderland's poor recent form
Steve Bruce has become the first Premier League manager to lose his job this season after Sunderland's poor recent form
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Sunderland manager Steve Bruce has been sacked after Saturday's 2-1 defeat by Wigan
  • That defeat left Sunderland 16th in the Premier League, just two points above the drop zone
  • Bruce is the first manager to lose his job in the English Premier League this season

(CNN) -- Steve Bruce has become the first English Premier League managerial casualty of the season after being sacked by Sunderland on Monday following a poor run of recent results.

On Saturday, Sunderland relinquished a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1 at home to bottom side Wigan Athletic, with the winning goal coming in injury time.

That result left Sunderland 16th in the 20-team division -- just two points above the relegation zone -- despite an extensive recruitment drive in the close season which saw 11 players join the club.

The Wigan defeat also highlighted crowd dissatisfaction with Bruce -- with a number of banners calling for his removal -- and club chairman Ellis Short has decided to act after calling recent results "simply not good enough".

Ellis told the official Sunderland website: "This has been a difficult time for everyone at Sunderland and is not a situation that any of us envisaged or expected to be in.

Sadly results this season have simply not been good enough and I feel the time is right to make a change
Sunderland chairman Ellis Short

"It is my job as chairman to act in the best interests of our football club at all times and I can assure everyone that this is not a decision I have taken lightly."

He continued: "Sadly results this season have simply not been good enough and I feel the time is now right to make a change.

"Steve has acted with honesty and integrity throughout, which is testament to the character and commitment he has shown during his time at Sunderland.

"I would like to personally place on record my thanks to him for his significant contribution to our football club over the past two-and-a- half years and everyone here at Sunderland naturally wishes him the very best for the future."

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