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Michael Beale: Sunderland sack head coach after 12 games

Michael Beale has now been dismissed from his past two jobs at Rangers and now Sunderland

Sunderland have sacked head coach Michael Beale after just 12 games in charge, following back-to-back Championship defeats.

The 43-year-old was given a two-and-a-half-year deal in December when he replaced the popular Tony Mowbray.

Beale lost six games during his short stint, including a 3-0 home FA Cup defeat by rivals Newcastle United.

Assistant Mike Dodds has been placed in interim charge of the Black Cats until the end of the season.

Recent defeats by Huddersfield and Birmingham have caused the Wearsiders to slip to 10th in the table.

“We are disappointed that Michael is leaving Sunderland AFC,” sporting director Kristjaan Speakman told the club website.

“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.”

Dodds previously took control of Sunderland between Mowbray’s exit and Beale’s arrival, winning two games – against fellow promotion challengers West Bromwich Albion and Leeds – out of his three in charge.

“Our focus is now on the players and supporting Mike Dodds in the remaining games to ensure we achieve the highest possible league finish,” Speakman added.

“We will be updating our supporters further as and when significant developments are made.”

Beale has struggled to appease Sunderland fans who met his appointment with discontent, despite the club lying just four points off the play-off places.

Beale’s exit means his past two jobs have ended in disappointment. He was dismissed by Scottish Premiership club Rangers in October after 43 matches and 10 months at the helm.

His stint in charge was the shortest for a permanent manager in Sunderland’s history, one match fewer than Paolo di Canio’s 13 in 2013.