Sunderland slump to bottom spot in the Championship – without playing

Sunderland boss Chris Coleman. Picture by Frank Reid
Sunderland boss Chris Coleman. Picture by Frank Reid
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Sunderland slipped to the foot of the Sky Bet Championship without playing tonight.

Birmingham City leapfrogged the Black Cats to climb off bottom spot with a 2-0 victory at Reading, their second win in three games for boss Steve Cotterill.

Jacques Maghoma gave the impressive Blues a 24th-minute lead at Reading, beating ex-Sunderland keeper Vito Mannone, and Sam Gallagher, who netted for Birmingham in their recent 1-1 draw with Sunderland, doubled the advantage on 64 minutes.

Conor Davies hit the bar late on for Jaap Stam’s Royals

Blues are now second-bottom on 23 points, one better off than Chris Coleman’s Wearsiders. Burton Albion sit in the third relegation place on 24 points, behind Hull only on goal difference.

Sunderland take a break from the league struggles for this weekend’s FA Cup tie at Middlesbrough but return to Championship action at fourth-top Cardiff, who have lost four in a row, on January 13.

Sunderland last sat at the bottom of the Championship after four games in the 2006-07, when four successive defeats left the Wearsiders pointless under Niall Quinn, shortly before Roy Keane’s appointment as manager.

Previously, the Red and Whites were bottom after six games in 1993-94 and up to the seventh match under Lawrie McMenemy in 1985-86.