In a shock move Newcastle have sacked manager Chris Hughton, the former Irish international, despite the fact that he'd led them to promotion last season and a mid table position in the Premier league this year.

Former England international Peter Beardsley has been appointed the interim manager. He currently manages the reserve team.

The Newcastle midfielder Kevin Nolan described himself as 'gutted, surprised and shocked' by the decision, according to Sky Sports.

Newcastle drew 1-1 with Chelsea a few weeks back and a month ago they beat bitter rivals Sunderland 5-1 and also won 1-0 at Arsenal.

A statement from the Board of Directors read: "The board would like to place on record their thanks to Chris for his considerable efforts during the club's transition from Championship to Premier League football.

'Chris has shown exceptional character and commitment since being appointed manager in October 2009.

'The club wishes him well for the future. Regrettably the board now feels that an individual with more managerial experience is needed to take the club forward.

'The task of appointing a new manager now begins. An announcement will be made shortly regarding transitional arrangements pending the appointment of a successor.'