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By ESPN Staff

Beleagured McCarthy sacked by Sunderland

Mick McCarthy has been sacked by Sunderland after three years in charge.

The 47-year-old former Republic of Ireland manager - who guided the club to promotion last season - leaves with the club eight points adrift at the foot of the Premiership.

Sunderland chairman Bob Murray told the club's website: 'I would like to thank Mick McCarthy for his efforts for the club and wish him and his family the best for the future.'

Murray intends to appoint a caretaker manager to take charge in the remaining 10 matches this season and will make a decision regarding a permanent appointment at a later date.

'Looking ahead we will be taking our time to appoint a successor for what will be another very important season for the club in 2006,' Murray added.

Sunderland have won just two games all season, garnering 10 points from 27 games, and Murray said: 'As chairman I take responsibility for what has proven to be an unsuccessful and heartbreaking season, despite the best intentions, efforts and expectations of every one at the club.

'I feel deeply sorry that the excitement, optimism and aspirations of all Sunderland fans looking forward to a return to the Premier League have been rewarded in this way and I apologise for this.

'It is especially tough on supporters who have turned out in numbers week-in week-out, despite seeing so little to raise their spirits.

'It is hard to see such loyalty unrewarded and I am sorry that performances and results have not mirrored the tremendous level of support that the club has been given.

'The club did not return to the Premiership just to make up the numbers and whilst we fully expected it to be a tough first season back, none of us expected to be in the position we are today.'