Sunderland: Candidates to Succeed Sacked Manager Martin O'Neill
Martin O'Neill is out, sacked by Sunderland after a dismal run of eight matches without a win saw the Black Cats slip into the Premier League relegation race.
The decision, which came after Sunderland lost 1-0 at home to Manchester United on Sunday (via Daily Telegraph), was "wrong," according to one of O'Neill's former players (via BBC Sport). According to a another former manager, it was a "spoilt brat" reaction (via The Guardian).
Both might or might not be true, but either way, O'Neill isn't coming back. So who's in line to succeed him for the relegation run-in?
Keep reading for some of the names floating around.
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
Last job: Twente (Netherlands)
Honors: English League Cup 2003-04; Dutch league title 2009-10.
Steve McClaren, who managed England from 2006-07, is considered a front-runner for the Sunderland job, according to this article from The Guardian.
McClaren's tenure as England boss ended poorly, with the Three Lions failing to qualify for Euro 2008. He left Dutch club FC Twente—it was his second stint there—last month after a string of poor results.
A former assistant of Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, McClaren has not managed in England since 2006. He does, however, have experience managing in the North-East, with Middlesbrough.
Julian Finney/Getty Images
Last job: QPR
Mark Hughes and Queens Park Rangers parted company last November, after the club's worst start to a Premier League season. The previous spring, however, he helped QPR avoid relegation.
Hughes, who played for Manchester United, Barcelona and Bayern Munich among others, had success managing Blackburn and Fulham.
Roberto Di Matteo
Claudio Villa/Getty Images
Last job: Chelsea
Honors: UEFA Champions League 2011-12; FA Cup 2011-12
Roberto Di Matteo led Chelsea to glory as interim manager last season, then quickly drew the sack after mere months as the full-time boss. Before taking over from Andre Villas-Boas at Stamford Bridge, Di Matteo also managed MK Dons and West Bromwich Albion.
Paolo Di Canio
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Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph lists Gianfranco Zola and Gus Poyet (pictured). The latter is reportedly unlikely to leave Brighton as they chase promotion to the Premier League.
Finally, BBC Sport mentions Ole Gunnar Solskjaier, who played for Manchester United and has won the league title twice in his native Norway.