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Last Updated: Wednesday October 21 2009 08:00 GMT

Middlesbrough sack boss Southgate

Gareth Southgate

Gareth Southgate has been sacked as manager of Championship club Middlesbrough even though the team beat Derby 2-0 on Tuesday.

Before that win, Boro had lost three home games in a row. However, they are fourth in the league, only one point behind leaders West Brom.

Southgate became the club's manager in 2006, but last season Boro were relegated from the Premier League.

He was sacked in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Middlesbrough Chairman Steve Gibson said: "This has been the most difficult decision I've ever had to make in football."

Southgate, who won 57 caps for England, joined Boro as a player in 2001.

He made more than 200 appearances for the club before taking over from Steve McClaren as manager.

"Gareth has given Boro magnificent service as a skipper and, in very difficult circumstances, as manager," added Gibson.