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Reading sack Nigel Adkins with Steve Clarke lined up

Reading have announced the sacking of Nigel Adkins as manager after just over a year-and-a-half at the club, following the 6-1 thrashing at the hands of Birmingham City, who leapfrogged the Royals in the Championship as a result.

The Berkshire outfit now lie 16th in the table, seven points above the drop zone, and 10 below the play-off places, as they have lost seven of their last 11 league games. They are 9/1 chances with Coral for relegation, and 16/1 to finish in the top six.

On their club website, Reading confirmed: “The board of Reading Football Club have this afternoon relieved manager Nigel Adkins of his duties.

“The Club met with Nigel in person today (Monday) and we would like to place on permanent record our thanks to him for his hard work and diligence since his appointment in March 2013.”

Adkins’ backroom staff faced the chop as well, as the club continued in the statement: “As part of this process, assistant manager Andy Crosby and first team coach Dean Wilkins will also be leaving the club, and we would also like to thank them for their efforts.

“The board of Reading Football Club are committed to taking this club forward and will make a further announcement to our supporters in due course.”

One man who has survived the sacking is current coach and former Reading caretaker boss in 2013 Eamonn Dolan, who is being linked with the full time position. Ex-West Bromwich Albion manager Steve Clarke is the clear front runner for the job, though, with the likes of Rene Meulensteen, Tim Sherwood and Chris Hughton all reported targets too.

Adkins took over at Reading from Brian McDermott in March 2013, but was unable to save them from relegation in the Premier League that season, finishing in 19th. The following campaign he led them just one place short of the play-offs.

The 49-year-old’s rise through management has been impressive, as his first job in England, after spending most of his playing career as a goalkeeper for Wigan Athletic, was as a physiotherapist for Scunthorpe United.

Adkins’ tactical talent was soon spotted, though, and he became caretaker manager of the Lincolnshire side in 2006, where he impressed and was offered the permanent position in month later.

After gaining two promotions to the Championship with Scunthorpe, he became Southampton boss, and Adkins took them from League One to the Premier League in two successive seasons.