Former Sunderland manager, Martin O'Neill
Relegation-threatened Sunderland have sacked manager Martin O'Neill following a poor run of results.
The Black Cats sit one point above the Premier League relegation zone with seven games left after a 1-0 defeat by Manchester United on Saturday, reports the BBC.
Sunderland are without a win in eight league matches, during which they have picked up only three points.
The club said a decision on 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.
"Of course, there is nobody that is happy with our current position and the way our season is going," he wrote. "The reality is that we have a fight on our hands.
"But right now, it is important for us all to be on the same side and get behind the team. Not being together will not help us to get results, so let's stand shoulder to shoulder and give the team our full support."
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 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 fell to 16th place in the table following their latest defeat, which occurred without their top scorer Fletcher and captain Lee Cattermole after the injured pair were ruled out for the season.
O'Neill leaves Sunderland with a record of 16 wins from 55 Premier League matches.
Speaking after the game, he appeared optimistic about securing Sunderland's survival.
"I am as buoyant now as - I was nearly going to say as I have always been," he said.