Paul Ince has been appointed as interim Reading manager after Veljko Paunovic signalled his departure from the club, despite winning 3-2 at Preston on Saturday.
Lucas Joao netted twice inside the first 20 minutes before John Swift put the Royals in total control, although it was not enough to save Paunovic, who was dismissed shortly after full-time with the club five points above the relegation zone.
Reading pointed to "strict transfer embargo restrictions and contract limitations, an injury crisis like never before seen at our club, a global pandemic and the challenge of a six-point deduction imposed by the EFL" as obstacles faced by Paunovic in his second season in charge.
In their statement confirming the Serbian's departure, Reading also announced former England midfielder Ince - last in charge at Blackpool in 2014 - as their interim boss, working alongside academy manager Michael Gilkes.
Chief executive Dayong Pang said: "The board and I will now work diligently to identify the right candidate to take this club forward.
"This work will be done quickly but without undue haste as we fully appreciate the importance of our decision to appoint a new manager at this crucial stage of the campaign."