Sunderland make it official, fire manager Gus Poyet in midst of relegation battle

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Sunderland are managerless as Gus Poyet was fired on Monday.

Poyet, 46, has been in charge of the Black Cats since October 2013 but an abysmal 4-0 home defeat to fellow relegation candidates Aston Villa on Saturday proved to be the final straw for Sunderland’s directors.

[ RELATED: Poyet takes the blame ]

Sunderland’s American owner Ellis Short made the decision to axe Poyet on Monday, as the north east club sit just one point and one place above the drop zone with nine games to save their season.

Angry scenes played out at the Stadium of Light on Saturday as home fans walked out en-masse with Sunderland losing 4-0 at half time and fans tried to get to Poyet on the bench to vent their frustrations towards the manager and his players. Poyet lead Sunderland to safety last season after taking over when the Mackems were bottom of the table after Paolo Di Canio was fired and led them to the League Cup final where they lost to Manchester City.

It is believed that Poyet has been uneasy for quite some time with the way the setup at Sunderland was constructed with a sporting director, Lee Congerton, also having a say in plenty of decisions. That said the drubbing by Villa, 14 draws from 29 games and an 8-0 defeat by Southampton earlier this season were signs that progress was not being made under Poyet.

Below is the statement released by the Black Cats as Poyet won just 31 percent of his games in charge (23 victories from 75 matches in total) which included just four Premier League wins, the lowest of any team this season.

Sunderland AFC have parted company with head coach Gus Poyet this afternoon.

The club would like to place on record its’ thanks to Gus and wishes him well for the future.

Chairman Ellis Short said: “I would like to thank Gus for his endeavours during his time at the club, in particular last season’s ‘great escape’ and cup final appearance, which will live long in the memory of every Sunderland fan.

“Sadly, we have not made the progress that any of us had hoped for this season and we find ourselves battling, once again, at the wrong end of the table. We have therefore made the difficult decision that a change is needed.”

An announcement will be made in due course regarding the head coach position.