After looking good for survival before Christmas, things have suddenly gone very very wrong at the Riverside. Now two points from safety, Middlesbrough Chairman Steve Gibson has taken the difficult decision to part ways with long-term manager Aitor Karanka.
Joining Boro in 2013 after three years serving as Jose Mourinho's assistant at Real Madrid, the Spaniard arrived at the Riverside with a big reputation. And for a season or two, it took a while for Karanka to find the right formula. After heartbreak in the 14-15 play-off final, Karanka found the winning formula last season, leading Boro to automatic promotion.
After becoming the man to bring Middlesbrough back to the Premier League after such a long absence, had the Spaniard earned himself a least a season to try and keep his side up? Or were his turgid tactics doomed to take them back down? HITC Sport asked Middlesbrough fans this and more...
Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka
"I think it was a bit overdue myself" said one Middlesbrough fan, who was clearly happy to see the back of the Spaniard. "It was inevitable...it's a result orientated business" added another supporter, who echoed the thoughts of many Boro fans at the Riverside.
"We need some changes because, if we hadn't of changed anything, we'd definitely be going down" the fan continued, highlighting Karanka's reluctance to change his system. The Spaniard's inability to change his tactics during a match seemed to be one of the major factors behind fans frustration with the man who got them promoted.
"It was very disappointing because I had a lot of faith in Karanka" added one supporter, with sentiment for the man that finally lifted them out of the Championship clearly still there. However, it seems the vast majority were happy to see the Spaniard next. So who's next for Middlesbrough?
Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka looks dejected