MIKE DODDS will take charge of Sunderland until the end of the season after the club parted ways with head coach Michael Beale.

Dodds oversaw the interim period at the club following Tony Mowbray's departure, picking up six points from nine available to him, winning against West Brom and Leeds United.

Defeat in his final game in charge saw Beale appointed as Mowbray's successor, but defeat to the former Black Cats boss at St. Andrew's this weekend saw the two parties bring an end to their partnership.

Sporting director Kristjaan Speakman has accepted responsibility for Beale's appointment and following departure.

He said: “We are disappointed that Michael is leaving Sunderland AFC. Our desire is to improve and unfortunately that hasn’t been evident, as such we take full accountability and feel that acting decisively is in the best interests of the Club.

"This has been a difficult few months for Michael, who leaves with our best wishes for the future. Our focus is now on the players and supporting Mike Dodds in the remaining games to ensure we achieve the highest possible league finish.


"We will be updating our supporters further as and when significant developments are made.”

Dodds will now take charge for the remaining 13 games of the season, with Sunderland intent on finishing in the top-six before the curtain falls.

Sunderland's desire to improve saw Speakman deliver promises of building a team that would compete at the end of the table. "We want to be putting out a team that can be challenging at the top of the league," he said at the end of last season.

"No one is satisfied with getting into the play-offs - while it is a great achievement in the first year back, we have to keep being successful and we have to keep improving."

The Black Cats are four points adrift of the promotion places heading in to the final few months of the season.