Leeds United, Leicester City and Ipswich Town’s Championship rivals sack manager as Whites visit approaches

A second Championship manager left his position late on Monday evening, following on from Michael Duff's departure from Swansea City

Leeds United's Championship rivals, Sunderland, have dismissed Tony Mowbray from his role as manager with just over a week remaining until the Whites face the Black Cats at the Stadium of Light. The former Middlesbrough, Celtic and Blackburn Rovers player joined Sunderland in August 2022 after Alex Neil's surprise departure and guided the club to the Championship play-offs in their first season back in the second tier.

They were beaten in the semi-finals by eventual promotion winners Luton Town and sit ninth after 19 fixtures this term. Sunderland have made the 'difficult decision' to part ways with Mowbray with the Black Cats sat just three points behind Hull City in sixth. It comes after a run of three games without a win, following defeats to Plymouth Argyle and Huddersfield Town with Mowbray's final game in charge a 1-1 draw at Millwall.

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Leeds make the trip to the north east on Tuesday, December 12 just a few days after they undertake the journey to Blackburn Rovers. Mike Dodds has been placed in caretaker charge as Sunderland begin the process of finding Mowbray's replacement.

Sunderland's sporting director Kristjaan Speakman commented: “All at SAFC have thoroughly enjoyed working with Tony and he is quite rightly held in high regard by our players and staff, and our supporters. After arriving at an uncertain time, he helped guide us to the Sky Bet Championship play-offs and played an important role in developing our team. This was a difficult decision to make, but we remain loyal to our ambition and our strategy, and felt that now was the right moment to take this step. We are now focused on identifying the right candidate and we will continue to support our coaching team and players throughout the interim period.”

Chairman Kyril Louis-Dreyfus added: “I would like to place on record my gratitude to Tony for his hard work and commitment to Sunderland, a place where he will always be welcome. As custodians of our great club, we believe in our long-term strategy that we hope will ensure sustainability and success for SAFC. Central to that approach is a relentless demand for a high performance culture to be implemented throughout the club and the development of a strong playing identity that you, our loyal supporters, can all be proud of. Your continued support will also be fundamental to that progress and we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the Stadium of Light throughout the festive period and as we enter 2024.”

Sunderland's decision comes just hours after Swansea City announced they parted company with ex-Barnsley boss Michael Duff. The Welsh club lost 3-1 to Leeds last week at Elland Road, as they sit 18th but just five points above QPR in 22nd.