​Steve McClaren has been sacked by Newcastle over the club's poor Premier League form, which has seen them slump to 18th in the table. 

Former Liverpool, Chelsea and Real Madrid manager Rafael Benitez is widely expected to replace McClaren at the helm of the relegation battlers in the coming days. 

The decision comes as little surprise given the club's recent form. Indeed, it was widely expected that the former England boss would be fired on Monday after his side slumped to a chastening defeat at home to Bournemouth on Saturday.

​In a statement, the club's managing director Lee Charnley said: "I would like to thank Steve personally for his services to Newcastle United. He is a man of integrity and class and he has conducted himself with great dignity during this difficult time.

"Steve worked tirelessly to try and bring success to Newcastle United. He has the utmost respect of all the players, staff and management and he leaves with our very best wishes and sincere thanks.

Newcastle United v A.F.C. Bournemouth - Premier League

"We feel that a change is now needed in order to give the Club the best possible chance of securing its Premier League future. A further announcement on a successor to Steve will be made in due course."

The pressure on the Magpies boss was ramped up at the start of the week when a statement was released by the Newcastle United Fans Forum heavily criticising McClaren and demanding immediate action from the board to remove him. 

The lengthy statement read: "Someone has to be accountable and decisions must be made. What Newcastle fans want is a team of 11 players in black and white shirts that understand their role to perform to their maximum - week in, week out."We have entrusted the board of NUFC to ensure that the right personnel are in place to carry out this basic expectation."

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Newcastle United v A.F.C. Bournemouth - Premier League