Boro delay manager appointment

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Middlesbrough are not now expected to make any announcement about their new manager over the weekend.

The Teessiders had been widely expected to confirm Gareth Southgate's replacement - bookmakers stopped taking bets on Gordon Strachan - on Friday and unveil the Scot next week.

However, it is understood that there will be no such announcement for at least the next 48 hours.

Chairman Steve Gibson revealed on Wednesday evening that he had spent that day in discussions and was expecting to do the same yesterday.

The understanding on Teesside last night was that it was simply a matter of finalising the fine detail of the deal and that Strachan would be in the stands for tomorrow's Coca-Cola Championship clash with Preston at Deepdale before being introduced to the media early next week.

However, while that may still be the case, the delay will inevitably spark speculation that there is a problem.

Gibson dispensed with Southgate's services late on Tuesday night, just hours after he had guided his side to a 2-0 win over Derby, their first in four attempts at the Riverside Stadium.

He later admitted the decision had been taken several weeks ago and hinted that he had already sounded a replacement before sacking former England defender.

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Gordon Strachan
Preston North End
Derby County
Gareth Southgate

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