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Reading sack manager Brian McDermott
READING FC have announced that manager Brian McDermott has left the club.
McDermott had been the Berkshire club's manager for just over three years, guiding them to Championship safety after taking over in December 2009 before leading them to the play-offs the following year.
He then became just the second man to take Reading into the Premier League, the Royals winning the Championship title last season - but the team have found life in the top flight tough.
They currently sit 19th in the table, four points from safety, after losing their last five games.
Saturday's 2-1 home defeat to fellow strugglers Aston Villa was clearly the final straw for Russian owner Anton Zingarevich and it was announced that McDermott had left his post on Monday afternoon.
A statement issued by the club read:
"Reading Football Club has announced today the departure of manager Brian McDermott.
"Owner Anton Zingarevich wishes to place on record his thanks to Brian, who had achieved great success with the club since taking over as manager in December 2009.
"However, in our current situation, owner Anton Zingarevich felt that a chance was necessary.
"The search for a successor will start immediately and it is hoped that a new manager will be in place as soon as possible to lead the fight against potential relegation."
Possible candidates for the job include Alan Curbishley, Paulo Di Canio, Mark Hughes, Nigel Adkins, Roberto Di Matteo and Steve McClaren.