Billy McKinlay looks set to be handed the task of leading Sunderland into Sunday's Tees-Wear derby against Middlesbrough.
The 48-year-old will be placed in caretaker charge of first-team affairs, probably assisted by the likes of Robbie Stockdale, after the sacking of Simon Grayson last night.
Chief executive Martin Bain is looking for a new manager after firing Grayson just 15 league games into his Sunderland rein, and will ask McKinlay to hold the reins on a temporary basis to give him time over the international fortnight to find a permanent successor.
McKinlay had been working in the scouting department before stepping up to a first team coaching role when Grayson's assistant Glynn Snodin fell ill.
Longer serving coaches Stockdale and Adrian Tucker will also be part of the set-up and it could yet be a joint venture.
McKinlay was brought to the club last year by David Moyes, with whom he worked as an assistant coach at Real Sociedad.