Moore sacked by West Brom, Leeds stay on promotion track
Darren Moore has been sacked by West Bromwich Albion despite his side sitting fourth in the Championship, while Leeds remain on course for promotion to the Premier League after a 1-0 victory against Bristol City on Saturday.
Moore was axed as West Brom boss just hours after their hopes of breaking into the automatic promotion places were dented by a 1-1 draw against rock bottom Ipswich at the Hawthorns.
Stefan Johansen’s deflected goal after four minutes seemingly set the Baggies on their way, but Jon Nolan headed home for Ipswich just after half-time.
Albion, hoping for a quick return to the top-flight after last season’s relegation, reacting by dismissing Moore, whose side were still in the play-off places despite a run of three games without a win.
Moore had only been in charge since April, when he made a good impression after replacing Alan Pardew as caretaker boss.
He couldn’t stop West Brom going down, but the damage was done before he took over and his passionate style convinced the Albion hierarchy to hire him on a permanent basis in May.
However, this season the pressure was on to win promotion and Albion’s recent stumble prompted Moore’s surprisingly quick dismissal.
Chief Executive Mark Jenkins cited Albion’s run of four wins from their last 12 league games as proof Moore had to go.
“This has been an enormously difficult decision for a club which will always hold Darren in such high regard,” he said.
“He took over at a very difficult time last season and reunited the club, a contribution that will never be forgotten. But we have made it clear from the outset that everything this season was geared to making as swift a return to the Premier League as possible.
“Unfortunately Darren has not been able to engineer the consistency of form and results to convince the board that this objective would be met.
“We have to place the club’s best interests at the forefront of our thinking and we must do everything we can to try to deliver the promotion we have targeted.”
Albion’s first-team coach James Shan has been placed in charge of first-team affairs in the interim but the club hope to be able to name a new manager as soon as possible.
Leeds are in second place thanks to Patrick Bamford’s goal after just nine minutes at Ashton Gate as the striker latched onto Luke Ayling’s header and swept home.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side sit two points behind leaders Norwich, who beat Swansea on Friday, while play-off chasers Bristol City drop down to seventh.
Third placed Sheffield United stayed in touch with Leeds after they saw off 10-man Rotherham 2-0 at Bramall Lane.
Jack O’Connell’s opener and Mark Duffy’s fifth goal of the season ensured a comfortable victory for the Blades after Rotherham captain Will Vaulks was sent off in the first half.
Derby moved into the play-offs despite being held to a 1-1 draw by Sheffield Wednesday.
Bolton boosted their survival hopes with a 2-1 home win over fellow strugglers Millwall.
Reading rescued a stunning 3-2 victory against fellow strugglers Wigan at the Madejski Stadium.
Preston won 1-0 at Blackburn and Nottingham Forest beat Hull 3-0, while Stoke’s Sam Clucas and QPR’s Grant Hall were sent off in a 0-0 draw at Loftus Road.