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By ESPN Staff

Blackwell leaves Sheff United after QPR defeat

Kevin Blackwell has left Sheffield United by "mutual consent" after his side's appalling 3-0 defeat to Queens Park Rangers at Bramall Lane.

Blackwell saw his side go three goals behind within the opening 23 minutes, leading to a barrage of abuse from the home support. The game was peppered with raucous renditions of 'Blackwell out'.

A statement from the club read: "Following the home defeat to QPR, Sheffield United and Kevin Blackwell have jointly agreed to part company with immediate effect. Kevin Blackwell has worked tremendously hard over the last two and a half years and his record in terms of results is equal to, if not better than, most previous managers at Bramall Lane.

"He will always have a warm welcome at Sheffield United. However, it is time for us to move on because our ambition remains the same in challenging for promotion, hence this decision to look for a new manager to carry on the work Kevin has been doing.''

The 51-year-old took the reins in February 2008 and took the Blades to within a whisker of the Premier League the following season. However, Wade Elliott's decisive effort in the play-off final for Burnley condemned the Blades to another season in the Championship, in which they finished eighth after a late play-off surge.

Sheffield United started their fourth season in the second tier with a 1-1 draw at Cardiff, but were embarrassed in the Carling Cup first round at League One outfit Hartlepool. While the midweek defeat was due in no small part to the Blades' threadbare squad, Blackwell welcomed back four players for the game with QPR.

However, goals from Hogan Ephraim, Jamie Mackie and Adel Taarabt saw the visitors run riot and ultimately ended Blackwell's time at the club. Blackwell did not appear at the post-match press conference and nodded when asked by reporters on his way out of the club when asked if he had been sacked.


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