Newcastle sack Souness

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The Independent Online

Newcastle have sacked under-fire manager Graeme Souness with immediate effect.

The Magpies have won only one point in six Barclays Premiership matches and are only six points above the relegation zone.

A statement on the club's website, nufc.co.uk, said: "Newcastle United today announced that the employment of Graeme Souness has been terminated with immediate effect.

"An announcement will be made shortly regarding transitional arrangements pending the appointment of a new team manager."

The 3-0 defeat by Manchester City last night edged Souness even closer to theprecipice as many Magpies fans called for his head.

After the defeat at Eastlands Souness admitted he was feeling the pressure due to the "passionate" support Newcastle receive.

"It's common knowledge in football that the supporters up here love their football club and it means so much to them. They are madly, madly passionate for their football club," said the Scot.

"That makes it so attractive, but when you are not winning games, that can mean there's a big downside to it as well, and you have to accept that.

"But it's a special place to be involved in the football at Newcastle. I think there are only two or three other clubs in the country where that passion exists."

Souness has been beset by injuries this season and having £17million summersigning Michael Owen sidelined has been a major blow in recent weeks as thegoals he scored after his arrival had given the Magpies a boost.

Other high-profile signings were made during Souness' time on Tyneside but failed to have the desired effect.

Albert Luque was signed from Deportivo La Coruna for £9.5million, defender Jean-Alain Boumsong cost £8million last season and several other summer signings such as Scott Parker and Emre were recruited.

But results did not come and Souness lost the support of fans quickly this season as high-profile bust-ups dominated his reign.

Craig Bellamy went to Blackburn last season after a public row with the former Liverpool boss.

And winger Laurent Robert was also shown the door because he did not see eye-to-eye with Souness.

Last season Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer were involved in a confrontation on the pitch which also brought scandal to St James' Park.

But ultimately results were Souness' downfall with the Magpies languishing in 15th place, facing the prospect of a relegation scrap rather than securing the European place their expenditure demanded.

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