Chris Hughton has been sacked as boss of Nottingham Forest after their sixth defeat in their first seven Championship games against Middlesbrough on Wednesday night.
Forest were beaten 2-0 at home by the Teessiders to leave them bottom of the table with one point. And that looked enough for the Forest hierarchy to pull the trigger on the former Brighton boss.
But, per The Atheltic, Hughton’s fate had largely been decided long before defeat at the City Ground against Neil Warnock’s men.
The outlet claim “the club had already identified a shortlist of potential replacements in the days before kick-off”.
Those candidates are likely to include John Terry, Chris Wilder and Steve Cooper.
All three are out of work after leaving Aston Villa, Sheffield United and Swansea in the last six months.
But Terry took to Instagram on Tuesday to distance himself from the role, he said: “Chris is the manager and someone I have a lot of respect for. I wish Chris and the team all the very best for the season.”
“The club would like to place on record its appreciation for Chris’s efforts. Chris joined the club in a difficult period for everyone in football and around the world and we thank him for the way he has conducted himself during his tenure.
“Steven Reid will take temporary charge of the first team as interim head coach.
“The search for the permanent successor has begun and the club will update supporters in due course.
“The club would like to wish Chris all the best in his future career.”
Hughton’s response was: “I don’t have any type of social media but is always good to get those nice words.”
Hughton, 62, who was appointed in October recently said: “It is an uncomfortable time.
“This season has been difficult because we all want to do well.
“It has been a hugely disappointing season so far in terms of points and a very poor start.
“Pressure is always there.
“I am managing a big, fabulous club with a huge support base.
“Our supporters are turning up in their thousands.
“But I don’t see a changing room that is down or desperately thinking: ‘where is that next point going to come from?”