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Gus Poyet sacked by Sunderland after Aston Villa rout

Gus Poyet has been sacked by Sunderland and the club have already begun to look at potential replacements for the Uruguayan.

Poyet had hoped to persuade owner Ellis Short to give him a chance to repair the damage done by the diabolical home defeat to Aston Villa, but it seems the Black Cats board, led by director of football Lee Congerton had made up their mind to sack him.

Glenn Hoddle will be one of the names in the frame to replace Poyet.

Paul Lambert, sacked by Villa last month after the Midlands club had also begun to fear dropping into the Championship, may also be considered by director of football Lee Congerton as might former Rangers and Holland manager Dick Advocaat.

However, there is no guarantee either man will be willing to take the job, particularly as their position will be assessed again at the end of the season, whether they keep the Black Cats in the top flight or not.

Short would like to speak to Sam Allardyce to ask whether he would be interested in taking over in the summer should, as is widely anticipated, he is told he is not going to be given a new contract by West Ham.

He may even look to tempt him to leave West Ham early, although that would appear to be unlikely given he still does not know if he has a long term future in east London.

Sunderland have also managed to score just one goal in their last six games and panic appears to have spread in the boardroom as a result.

Although there were no chants for Poyet’s head from the stands during their humiliating capitulation against Villa, several supporters did try to get on to the touchline to remonstrate with the manager as the visitors scored four times before half time.

Chairman Ellis Short released a short statement via the club's official website, confirming the decision.

In it he made reference to Poyet's successful fight against the drop last term, as well as an unexpected run to the Capital One Cup final, but expressed disappointment at slipping once again into a survival scrap.

"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," said Short.

"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."

The statement added that an announcement about Poyet's successor would be made "in due course".

With time running short, and a trip to West Ham on Saturday, the club are expected to act quickly.

Sunderland are likely to opt for a short-term fix at this stage of the season before re-evaluating in the summer depending on their league status and experienced Dutchman Dick Advocaat is the early favourite.

The 67-year-old has managed Holland twice, worked for four years at Rangers and left his previous post in charge of Serbia last year.

Should he take the reins he would be presented with a similar problem to the one that greeted Di Canio when he arrived two years ago.

The controversial Italian had even less time to secure top-flight status, but collected eight points from seven games to do the job.

He was sacked that September after his early impact wore off.

Poyet now joins the likes of Di Canio, Martin O'Neill, Steve Bruce and Ricky Sbragia in failing to turn around Sunderland's fortunes in recent years.