Manchester United sack reserve manager in ruthless summer shake-up

By Mirror: Wednesday, May 22nd 2019 at 21:05 GMT +3 | Football
Ricky Sbragia has become the first victim of a summer shake-up at Old Trafford [Courtesy]

Manchester United reserve team boss Ricky Sbragia has become the first victim of a summer shake-up at Old Trafford.

The former Sunderland manager has parted company with United - with speculation mounting that Warren Joyce, reserve team manager for eight years until 2016 when he took charge at Wigan, could be set for a return.

Joyce has just left Australian club Melbourne City – owned by Manchester City – after a disappointing season in which they finished fifth and failed to reach the Asian Champions League.

Sbragia's departure signals a significant summer of change at the club - at all levels.

United's age-group teams have fallen behind their traditional rivals – prompting a review of their set-up.

Despite beating Chelsea in the FA Youth Cup, United were then beaten by Brighton in the next round while Manchester City and Liverpool contested the final with the Merseysiders winning 5-3 in a penalty shoot-out after extra-time.

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Scotsman Sbragia, 62, was in his second spell at United after helping bring on stars like Darren Fletcher and Kieran Richardson when he was in the reserve team role between 2002-2005 before leaving to become the first-team coach under Sam Allardyce at Bolton.

After his stint at the Stadium of Light, Sbragia managed Scotland's U-17, 19 and 21 teams until he returned to United in 2017.

But he had a tough time last season with fans calling for him to be replaced after the U-23s finished sixth in League Two.

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