Middlesbrough have followed the example of relegation rivals Leicester City by sacking their manager.
Boro got rid of Aitor Karanka on Thursday and put assistant manager Steve Agnew in caretaker charge.
— Middlesbrough FC (@Boro) March 16, 2017
The move came less than a month after Leicester dismissed Claudio Ranieri.
Since Ranieri’s sacking, Leicester have won three games out of three, beating Liverpool, Hull and Sevilla under the management of Craig Shakespeare.
Shakespeare was originally appointed as a temporary replacement for Ranieri, but he was quickly handed the job on a permanent basis after making a fine start.
Agnew could well do the same, although it will be difficult for the 51-year-old to get off to a winning start, as his first game is against Manchester United.
However, Agnew has long been tipped for a manager’s job, with Karanka singing his praises last summer.
Speaking to Gazette Live in May, Karanka said: “For sure (he has what it take to become a manager) because he has everything and you can feel when the people who are with you are enjoying their position or when they are doing it because they have to do it. Steve is enjoying it.
“He is asking me every single thing, he wants to improve, he is driving a lot of sessions because I like the way that he does everything so hopefully he can be a manager and hopefully a really, really good manager.”
This is not the first time Agnew will take caretaker charge of Boro.
He managed two games in 2010 following the sacking of Gordon Strachan, losing them both 1-0, to Nottingham Forest and Norwich City.