HomeBeale sacked by Sunderland after miserable nine-week spell

Beale sacked by Sunderland after miserable nine-week spell

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Sunderland have sacked head coach Michael Beale after just 12 games in charge.

The former Rangers boss was dismissed following back-to-back defeats to Huddersfield and Birmingham and for failing to win over a fanbase underwhelmed with his appointment.

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Beale’s final game in charge was a 2-1 loss at St Andrew’s on Saturday to a Birmingham side managed by his Sunderland predecessor Tony Mowbray. Beale was also forced to deny suggestions he’d snubbed a handshake from full-back Trai Hume after taking him off with three minutes to go.

Mike Dodds will take charge on an interim basis, as he did when Mowbray was sacked in December, until the end of the season.

A club statement read: “Sunderland AFC has appointed Mike Dodds as the club’s interim head coach.

“Dodds will lead the first team until the end of the 2023-24 season and replace Michael Beale, who departs the Stadium of Light with immediate effect.

“A member of the club’s coaching team since August 2021, Dodds took charge of the Black Cats earlier this campaign and guided them to back-to-back wins in the Sky Bet Championship.”

Sunderland’s sporting director Kristjaan Speakman acknowledged Beale’s appointment had not gone as the club intended.

He said: “We are disappointed that Michael is leaving Sunderland AFC. Our desire is to improve and unfortunately that hasn’t been evident, as such we take full accountability and feel that acting decisively is in the best interests of the club.

“This has been a difficult few months for Michael, who leaves with our best wishes for the future. Our focus is now on the players and supporting Mike Dodds in the remaining games to ensure we achieve the highest possible league finish. We will be updating our supporters further as and when significant developments are made.”

Beale was appointed on December 18 but his tenure got off to a bad start with an apology to the supporters following a 3-0 defeat at home to Coventry.

There was an upturn in results over Christmas with wins over Hull and Preston and a draw at Rotherham but any sense that Beale was the right man for the job quickly evaporated following a meek performance in the Wear-Tyne derby defeat to Newcastle.

Despite winning just four of Beale’s 12 games in charge, the Wearsiders are four points outside the Championship play-off spots with 13 games to go.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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