Sunderland have sacked head coach Tony Mowbray, the Sky Bet Championship club have announced.

Mowbray’s departure comes two days after his side’s 1-1 draw at Millwall that extended their poor recent run to one win from their last five games.

Sunderland, who have also parted company with Mowbray’s assistant Mark Venus, confirmed that coach Mike Dodds will take over pending the appointment of a new head coach, starting with Saturday’s clash with West Brom at the Stadium of Light.

Sporting Director Kristjaan Speakman said: “All at SAFC have thoroughly enjoyed working with Tony and he is quite rightly held in high regard by our players and staff, and our supporters.

“After arriving at an uncertain time, he helped guide us to the Sky Bet Championship play-offs and played an important role in developing our team

“This was a difficult decision to make, but we remain loyal to our ambition and our strategy, and felt that now was the right moment to take this step.

Sunderland v Birmingham City – Sky Bet Championship – Stadium of Light

“We are now focused on identifying the right candidate and we will continue to support our coaching team and players throughout the interim period.”

Mowbray replaced Alex Neil, who abruptly departed in August last year, and led the Black Cats into the play-offs, where they lost in the semi-finals to Luton.

Despite a bright start to the current campaign, his side appeared increasingly unsettled and have slipped out of the play-off places to ninth, three points adrift of the top six.