Coventry sack Black and set stage for Reid

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The Independent Football

Peter Reid is set to be named Coventry City's new manager after Eric Black was sacked yesterday.

Reid will return to football after a period of exile since leaving Leeds United and he has already met the Coventry chairman, Brian McGinnity. The experienced manager will take Adrian Heath with him as they try to recapture the promotion glories they enjoyed together at Sunderland. Reid recently turned down the chance to go to Plymouth, but will accept the Coventry post in the next few days.

Black departs with a better-than-average record since he took over from Gary McAllister. However, McGinnity wants a "name" manager and also plans to spend money next season.

In January, Black was promoted from assistant to manager following Gary McAllister's decision to resign as player-manager for personal reasons. But after 20 games at the helm Black paid the price for failing to reach the First Division play-offs. With the Sky Blues lying 10 points adrift of the top six with one fixture remaining, the Scotsman was dismissed along with his assistant, Archie Knox, and the goalkeeping coach, Alan Hodgkinson. McGinnity has handed temporary charge of team affairs to the academy manager, Steve Ogrizovic, the Sky Blues' third manager of the season.

Black had lost eight, drawn three and won nine of his 20 games in charge, the latest victory having been the 5-2 drubbing of Gillingham at Priestfield on Saturday. But McGinnity said: "We feel inconsistency has been a major issue for the team over recent months and that we need a new face to drive the club forward, particularly considering our move to a new stadium in August 2005.

"However, we would like to thank Eric, Archie and Alan for the contribution they have made to Coventry City and wish them all the best for the future."

The Notts County manager, Gary Mills, who worked as first-team coach alongside Black before leaving for Meadow Lane in January, said: "It's come as a shock and to be honest it makes you wonder what a manager has got to do to keep his job in this day and age.

"Since Eric has taken over he's done magnificently. He's taken the club up the league and to within a whisker of making the play-offs so I'm shocked and saddened by the club's decision, I just can't understand it."