SUNDERLAND, England (AP) — Sunderland has fired manager Gus Poyet with the club fighting to avoid relegation from the Premier League.

The 47-year-old Uruguayan has been in charge of the northeast club since replacing Paolo Di Canio in October 2013.

Last year, Poyet was rewarded with a new two-year contract after taking the club to the League Cup final, but Sunderland has struggled this season.

Sunderland, which is owned by American businessman Ellis Short, is only one point above the relegation zone with nine matches remaining.

Short says "sadly, we have not made the progress that any of us had hoped for this season and we find ourselves battling, once again, at the wrong end of the table. We have therefore made the difficult decision that a change is needed."

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