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Football League

Sheffield Wednesday sack manager Alan Irvine

Sheffield Wednesday chairman Milan Mandaric has confirmed manager Alan Irvine has been sacked after just over a year in charge at Hillsborough.

Former Preston boss Irvine, 52, has been axed by the npower League One club following a six-game winless run which culminated in Tuesday's 5-3 defeat at Peterborough.

Mandaric told Press Association Sport: "It is unfortunate, but this had to take place. The decision has been made on what is in the best interests of the club.

"We will be making further announcements in due course."

The Owls' defeat at Peterborough left them 12th in the table, eight points adrift of the play-offs and only five above the relegation zone.

Irvine, who held crisis talks with Mandaric yesterday after the heavy loss at London Road, had been backed by his chairman during the January transfer window.

Reda Johnson, Michael Morrison, Mark Reynolds, Gary Madine and Isaiah Osbourne have all arrived at Hillsborough in recent weeks.

Former Wednesday player Gary Megson and ex-Crystal Palace, Coventry and Hull boss Iain Dowie have emerged as early candidates to succeed Irvine, who signed a three-and-a-half year contract when he replaced Brian Laws as manager in January.

Assistant manager Rob Kelly and coach Billy Barr will take charge until a successor for Irvine is found.