The Championship managerial merry-go-round has continued to gather pace, with QPR confirming the appointment of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink as their new boss just hours after Reading terminated the contract of Steve Clarke following a dismal run of just one win in eight matches.
Queen's Park Rangers, relegated from the top flight for the second time in three seasons last term, had been searching for a replacement for Chris Ramsey since relieving the 53-year-old of his duties in November. Neil Warnock was placed in temporary charge of the team having returned to the club as an advisor, and signed off his latest reign with a 1-0 victory over the Royals at the Madejski Stadium on 3 December. Captain Nedum Onuoha headed home a late winner courtesy of a goalkeeping error from Ali Al-Habsi in a desperately poor game.
Former Leeds, Atletico Madrid and Chelsea striker Hasselbaink emerged as the favourite for the job after continuing Gary Rowett's excellent work at Burton Albion by guiding the club to promotion from the fourth tier for the first time in their history. He leaves the Pirelli Stadium with the Brewers currently top of League One with 13 wins from their opening 20 games.
"I feel that this is a club on the up – it has an exciting feeling about it," the Dutchman said after his appointment in west London was confirmed. "And I want to keep that feeling going by taking more positive strides forward.
"I am happy to get the opportunity here at QPR, to lead the QPR family, be at the front of it all, put my stamp on things and take the club forward. This is an incredibly proud moment for me and I will give my all to represent the badge of the club."
As for Reading, the removal of Clarke appeared somewhat inevitable with their promotion bid having stalled badly in recent weeks. Jose Mourinho's former assistant also made himself an unpopular figure with many supporters with his decision to hold talks with Fulham over their vacant managerial position last month. Although he eventually decided to spurn their advances, it became apparent that he had lost the benefit of the doubt, and dissenting voices across social media had been calling for his dismissal.
In a statement released via their official website, Reading, who are still just one point adrift of the play-off positions, said: "The board of Reading Football Club have this morning relieved Manager Steve Clarke of his duties. The club met with Steve in person earlier today and we would like to place on permanent record our thanks to him for his hard work and diligence since his appointment in December 2014.
"Following Thursday night's defeat at home to QPR, added to a recent run of poor form which has seen the team pick up just one win in the last eight Sky Bet Championship fixtures, the board feel that a change in manager is now necessary."