Former Celtic manager Gordon Strachan looks certain to be named as Middlesbrough's new boss after chairman Steve Gibson axed Gareth Southgate on Tuesday evening.
Southgate was relieved of his duties after Boro had moved to within a point of Championship leaders West Brom by beating Derby County 2-0 at the Riverside Stadium.
Gibson has explained that the decision to axe Southgate was made before the success against the Rams.
He said: "When I sat down and considered our start to the season, I felt that the league table was actually more favourable than some of our performances had been.
"Then I looked at the important games against the teams immediately around us, and took those results into account. In general the results and the performances haven't been to the level I'd have hoped for.
"Before last night, our five home games had brought in seven points. That won't get us promoted, and promotion is the only objective for the season.
"As difficult a decision as it was to make, the decision was made before last night's match. One good result wasn't going to change that decision. We already had a strategy for Gareth's replacement.
"The timing of Gareth's sacking was determined a little by the implementation of that strategy."