Robbie Keane's time as Middlesbrough assistant manager looks to be over with the news that top man Jonathan Woodgate has been relieved of his duties at the struggling Championship club and replaced by Neil Warnock.
Chairman Steve Gibson's move to dispense with Woodgate was announced in a club statement on Tuesday morning and, while there was no immediate mention of Keane or the rest of the management team, new managers invariably bring in their own lieutenants.
Former teammates at both Leeds United and Tottenham Hotspur, Woodgate and Keane had been in situ on Teeside just over a year but the north-east club is dangling dangerously above the relegation zone on the basis of nothing more than goal difference and with just eight games remaining.
No-one in that part of England will need reminding that Sunderland are still languishing in League One for a second straight campaign and Gibson's decision to change tack comes just three days after Boro suffered a 3-0 loss to Swansea City in their first game back since football's restart.
Club statement pic.twitter.com/d32NwGFHJr— Middlesbrough FC (@Boro) June 23, 2020
Warnock, whose first game in charge will be against a Stoke City side just two points above them on the ladder, is to assume control immediately. This is his 16th different club as a manager. Two of those – Crystal Palace and Queens Park Rangers – have been under his care twice.
Keane, who was part of Mick McCarthy's Republic of Ireland management team, has now gone from a situation where he had two posts to none in the space of less than three months after Stephen Kenny took over from the Barnsley-born man in early April.
Ireland's record goalscorer is still under contract with the FAI for another two years however, despite being overlooked by Kenny. The Tallaght man's stated ambition is to be a manager in his own right. He was due to complete his Uefa Pro Licence last month.