Martin O'Neill sacked by Sunderland

    Martin O'Neill took over as manager of Sunderland in December 2011.

    Story highlights

    • Premier League club announce departure of O'Neill on official website
    • Sacking follows a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Manchester United
    • O'Neill spent just 15 months in charge
    • Sunderland currently one point above relegation zone with seven games remaining
    English Premier League side Sunderland have sacked manager Martin O'Neill.
    A statement released on the club's official website on Saturday evening said: "Sunderland AFC has announced that it 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."
    O'Neill's departure comes off the back of a 1-0 defeat on Saturday to league leaders Manchester United and a run of eight league games which have yielded just three points. Sunderland's last league win came against fellow strugglers Wigan on January 19.
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    The club are currently lying 16th in the league with 31 points, one point above the relegation zone.
    O'Neill replaced Steve Bruce as Sunderland manager in December 2011 guiding the Black Cats to 13th place last season. He is the fifth English Premier League manager to be sacked this season.
    The club say an announcement on O'Neill's successor will be made "in the coming days."