Ex-Brighton and Chelsea boss among the early contenders to replace Michael Beale at Sunderland

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Michael Beale lasted just 12 games in charge at SunderlandMichael Beale lasted just 12 games in charge at Sunderland
Michael Beale lasted just 12 games in charge at Sunderland

Sunderland confirmed they have sacked head coach Michael Beale after just 12 games at the helm.

Beale, 43, joined the Black Cats in December on a two-and-a-half-year contract as he replaced the Tony Mowbray, who later moved to Birmingham.

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Beale however struggled and lost six games during his brief spell – including recent defeats against Huddersfield and Birmingham – that saw Wearsiders drop to 10th.

Mike Dodds has been appointed interim Head Coach until the end of the season, replacing Beale who departs the Club with immediate effect.

Sporting director Kristjaan Speakman told the club’s official website: “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.

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“This has been a difficult few months for Michael, who leaves with our best wishes for the future."

Speakman continued: “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.”

Here’s the early contenders – including an ex-Brighton boss – to be next in line at Sunderland, according to Instant Casino.com

Reims head coach Will Still is the early favourite at 2/1 but Steve Cooper who was recently replaced at Nottingham Forest by Nuno Espirito Santo is also close.

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Ex-Sheffield United man Paul Heckingbottom is 7/2 while Hammarby IF boss Kim Hellberg is at 4/1. Former Swansea man Michael Duff is in the pack at 7/1 and Wayne Rooney fresh from his bruising experience at Birmingham is in at 9/1.

Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard is 10/1 as is Sam Allardyce 10/1 with former Black Cats manager Roy Keane at 12/1, alongside ex-Brighton and Chelsea man Graham Potter.