Steve Clarke sacked as Reading manager
Reading have sacked manager Steve Clarke after defeat to QPR - image via skysports.com

Steve Clarke has been sacked as manager of Championship side Reading, the club have confirmed.

The news comes less than 24 hours after the Royals conceded in the 89th minute of a 1-0 loss to Queens Park Rangers, in Neil Warnock's last game in charge of the London side.

Reading's good form has fallen away

Reading started the season in stellar form but have dropped off in recent weeks, and have just one victory in their last eight games in the league, against 24th-placed Bolton Wanderers two weeks ago.

A statement on the club's official website made clear the board's gratitude for Clarke's hard work during his time at the club, which started in December 2014.

However, it also said that the recent downturn of form meant that the board felt that a change of management was necessary for the club's progression.

Kuhl takes temporary control

Clarke's assistant Kevin Keen also departs, with the club's under-21 manager Martin Kuhl taking temporary charge. Kuhl's only spell of senior management came during a brief spell as caretaker manager of Aldershot Town in 2007.

Martin Kuhl in charge of Reading's U21s - via premierleague.com

Just two weeks ago, Clarke was reported to have been speaking to managerless Fulham about taking over at Craven Cottage, but he decided to remain at the Madejski Stadium.

Now he will have to seek employment once again, though a reasonably successful spell as West Brom manager and previous assistant manager roles at ChelseaWest Ham and Liverpool mean that he should not have too much trouble in this venture.

Clarke leaves Royals in good health

The 52-year-old Scotsman took over at Reading around a year ago, and presided over an incredibly balanced time at the club, with 19 wins, 20 defeats and 14 draws.

However, he leaves the club in better shape than when he arrived. Reading were 16th and smarting from a 6-1 defeat to Birmingham City when Clarke took the reigns, but they now sit just one point shy of the Championship play-off places despite their recent run of bad form.

Indeed, the Royals were one of the early pace-setters in the second tier this season. Their promising start to the campaign included victories over promotion-chasing Ipswich TownBurnley and Middlesbrough.

They travel to Preston North End next weekend, before fixtures with Hull CityBlackburn Rovers and Wolves.

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