By Editor

Gus Poyet is set to be sacked by Sunderland, who are ready to end the Uruguayan’s spell at the club by the end of the week, Football Insider sources understand.

The North-East club have already begun looking at potential replacements for Poyet after director of football Lee Congerton convinced American owner Ellis Short theywill be relegated if they do not make any dug-out changes.

Sunderland are set to inform Poyet this week, and it could even be as early as Monday, that his 17-month spell at the Stadium of Light is over.

The club are seeking a short-term replacement for Poyet, and will then assess the managerial position at the end of the season when there will be greater pool of coaching talent available.

Poyet had hoped to persuade the Black Cats board to give him more time to repair the damage done by the humiliating 4-0 home defeat to Aston Villa last Saturday but senior officials have been dismayed by a run of form that has left them clinging to their Premier League status.

Sunderland are 17th in the table and just a point above the relegation zone. But it is the manner of some catastrophic recent performances that has alarmed the board, particularly the home defeats against fellow strugglers QPR and Villa. The Black Cats have won just one league game this year and just two at home all season.

Supporters streamed out of the Stadium of Light before half-time last Saturday after the home side conceded four goals in the opening 44 minutes.

The defeat hardened the mood against Poyet both among supporters and senior club figures, and the club have decided to end the Uruguayan’s often controversial tenure.

The 47-year-old has just over a year remaining on the two-year deal he signed in the wake of keeping Sunderland in the top flight last May following a string of victories against the odds.

Although there has been a reluctance on Short’s part to sack yet another manager and appoint the club’s seventh boss in six years, the American has asked Congerton to look for someone who can take on the job until the end of the season.

One intriguing possibility in the summer is Sam Allardyce, who is out of contract in the summer and is expected to be told by West Ham that he will not be given a new deal.