Date: 14th December 2005 at 3:28pm
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Sunderland boss Mick McCarthy has received a vote of confidence from the club’s fans as he attempts to engineer an unlikely escape from the Premiership’s relegation zone. But the question we all want to ask: How many Toon fans voted to keep him in place?

The 46-year-old Yorkshireman was backed by 56.3% of participants in a telephone poll, conducted by local evening newspaper the Sunderland Echo, over whether he should be sacked.

Of the 2,266 responses received, 1,276 called for him to be left in place, while 990, or 43.7%, urged chairman Bob Murray to cut his losses and look for a new manager.

The poll was conducted in the wake of the Black Cats’ 10th successive defeat in all competitions and ninth in the league at Charlton on Saturday, which left them 11 points adrift of safety.