EIGHTEEN months on and the man Steve Gibson felt would have delivered promotion back to the Premier League has departed, but don’t expect Tony Pulis’ replacement to be given such a similar short-term goal.

Outlooks at the Riverside Stadium look set to change and, it will be hoped from within and in the stands, for the better.

While Gibson considers who should succeed Pulis, in tighter times because of Financial Fair Play rules and a halt to parachute payments, there looks set to be a dramatic change of philosophy and approach.

While it might be hoped that whoever fills the void vacated by Pulis in the coming days can have an instant impact and guide Middlesbrough to the Premier League at the first attempt, there are discussions behind-the-scenes aimed at giving the club a sounder footing for the long-term future.

Rather than short term solutions, Middlesbrough want to develop an identity and style from a different outlook as they look to bring sustained success, relatively speaking, back to the Riverside Stadium.

While the instant demands placed on football managers these days dictate that positive results will still have to be forthcoming, the new man at the helm will likely be working under a different way of thinking – arguably unlike any other manager before at the Teesside club.

In the past every time there has been a change of manager at Middlesbrough, there has tended to be a push to overhaul the squad – and that in itself has brought problems, issues. Pulis’ reign was the perfect example of that.

Despite his experience, he inherited a squad of players that had been expensively assembled, to suit Garry Monk’s way of thinking in that first summer following relegation from the Premier League.

Pulis found it hard to offload the players he really wanted to because of high wages and, in the end, had to sell those – like Adama Traore and Ben Gibson – he never wanted to lose just to free up the wage bill.

That was not conducive to a happy camp because a striker he didn’t want to rely on, like Britt Assombalonga, never played with the sort of confidence he should have had from his manager because he knew he wasn’t wanted.

That has been Middlesbrough’s way of working for years. In fact, clubs across the country have operated in that way for decades, but football is moving on and the success of Norwich City this season has provided a further reminder of what such a drastic change can deliver. Middlesbrough are keen to move away from that too.

The imminent loss of Norwich’s parachute payments following a costly relegation in 2015-16 dictated their change of recruitment strategy and their faith in young players coupled with little-known continental signings worked.

That strategy, carried out by the Canaries’ sporting director Stuart Webber above the successful coaching of Daniel Farke, made a mockery of an old-fashioned belief – which Pulis would adhere to – that to be successful in the Championship you need experienced players, battle hardened and ready to dig in.

Norwich’s achievements this season were carried out even though they raised around £40m from selling Alex Pritchard, Josh Murphy and James Maddison, and arrived after finishing down in 14th last season when there was a threat of relegation for much of the campaign.

That is where Middlesbrough could easily find themselves initially if they head down a similar road, during a period of realignment financially and a drive to attract a different kind of player as well as ensuring the likes of Dael Fry, Lewis Wing and Marcus Tavernier are merely the first of a new batch of academy players to hit the first team stage.

Whether Middlesbrough choose to go down the Jonathan Woodgate, the younger manager or the overseas appointment route, what it will be hoped is that the club suddenly has an identity in the way it operates on and off the pitch – something that it has not really had before.

Gibson has always been regarded as a chairman everyone would like to work for, but he has never really gone down the technical director path, where there is a model beneath him. Swansea, for example, would be the perfect case in point.

Although the Swans have taken a nose-dive over the last couple of years, there is no disguising that they enjoyed an incredible rise through the divisions and ended in the Premier League by developing an identity.

Whether it was Roberto Martinez, Brendan Rodgers, Michael Laudrup or even Monk, Swansea tried to stick to the same game-plan. They played the same way, they stuck with a similar recruitment strategy and it brought its rewards for a lengthy period.

Middlesbrough have let the manager do the talking, and the decision making. That, following the Pulis experience and a reduction in income, could be about to change, so all eyes are on Gibson’s next move.