West Brom will move fast to appoint a new head coach after sacking Alan Irvine.
The Baggies parted company with Irvine on Monday night after just half a season in charge, and said in a statement that they “expect to be able to name Irvine’s successor by the weekend” - when they face Gateshead in the FA Cup third round.
They have been heavily linked to Tony Pulis and Tim Sherwood, who are both available for a quick appointment.
Former Tottenham boss Sherwood was interviewed by Albion for the head coach’s job before losing out to Irvine in June.
Pulis has been out of work since quitting Crystal Palace in August but has also been touted as a possible Newcastle contender, should Magpies boss Alan Pardew join the Eagles this week.
Assistant head coach Rob Kelly, along with Keith Downing, will be in charge of the Baggies for their New Year’s Day trip to West Ham.
Kelly will also hold a restricted press conference, for broadcast rights holders, on Tuesday afternoon.
Irvine left after just six months in charge following four wins in 19 Barclays Premier League games.
Albion are 16th and a point above the bottom three after seven defeats from their last nine matches, including Sunday’s 2-0 loss at Stoke.
Irvine had vowed to fight for his future after the game, but the Baggies opted to place the 56-year-old on garden leave.
Technical director Terry Burton said: “Securing a sixth season in the Premier League is the over-riding target, and sometimes unpleasant decisions have to be taken to serve that imperative.
“Alan has impressed everyone with his manner, dedication and diligence, but he knows that results have simply not been good enough.”
Everton boss Roberto Martinez, who worked with Irvine when he was academy manager at Goodison Park, has sympathy for the Scot and revealed his surprise at the dismissal.
“We know Alan really well and he’s a fighter and someone who has that steel and determination to finish a project well,” the Spaniard said. “It’s a real shame that he’s not going to be able to do that at West Brom.
“He’s one of ours. He’s someone who’s brought a lot to Everton as a player and a coach and as an assistant, and our thoughts are with him. I always felt that Alan would find the solutions to make it as a success.”