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Reading sack manager Paul Ince after dropping into the relegation zone

Reading have dismissed manager Paul Ince with only five Championship games left.

The club have dropped into the relegation zone, prompting the manager’s dismissal.

Ince joined the club in February 2022 as an interim manager with Michael Gilkes. They steered the club away from relegation.

He took the permanent manager job with Alex Rae as his assistant. After a shaky season, the club has dismissed both men.

Ince’s future became uncertain following their 1-1 draw with Birmingham City on Friday. The game capped an eight-game winless run.

Reading recently received a six-point deduction for the second successive season for breaking the Football League’s financial rules. They announced Ince’s dismissal on their official website.

Head of football operations, Mark Bowen, said: “I would like to thank Paul and Alex for their efforts throughout what has admittedly been a frustrating and exceptionally challenging season so far.

“We would like to wish them well in their future endeavours.

“The board will work diligently to identify the manager who is the best fit for this football club going forward – a candidate capable of driving it towards a healthier, brighter future.

“However, for the next five games, our only focus is on doing everything we can to survive this season.

“Put simply, that means everyone – from myself, to the staff, to the supporters – lending all their support to Noel (Hunt), Eddie (Niedzwiecki), James (Oliver-Pearce) and the first team players as we go into five crucially important games at the end of our 2022-23 campaign.”

Reading have appointed under-21s manager Hunt as interim manager until the end of the season. Niedzwiecki will be his assistant, while Oliver-Pearce is also part of the new coaching team.

The new coaching set-up will be in the dugouts for their first game against Championship table-toppers Burnley this Saturday.

The Royals take on the Clarets at the Select Car Leasing Stadium as they look to engineer a move away from the drop zone.

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