Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson hopes to be able to name Gareth Southgate's successor as manager within the next 48 hours.
Gibson, who dismissed the former England defender late last night, did so having already made enquiries over a replacement after deciding up to three weeks earlier a change was needed. Gordon Strachan was swiftly installed as the bookmakers' favourite for the vacant post with Ladbrokes quoting him as a 1/4 shot.
"Nothing is certain in football, but I am hopeful we will have an announcement before the weekend," Gibson told BBC Tees Sport.
"Once the decision had been made - and that was two or three weeks ago - about replacing Gareth, we needed to build a strategy and a timetable of implementation.
"In order to do that, we needed to be fair with Gareth, treat him with the respect he deserved, and the first step in that strategy was to remove Gareth from his duties. That's been done.
"I had made enquiries before I did that, and I told Gareth that. We had, as I said, a strategy and we started the implementation of that strategy.
"We are well on with it. I have been very busy today with it; tomorrow will be another busy day.
"I don't expect us to have somebody in place before the Preston game, but I do expect us to be able to make an announcement before the Preston game.
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