Chairman Gibson: Steve Agnew can be 'glue to unify' Middlesbrough

  • Chairman Gibson: Steve Agnew can be 'glue to unify' Middlesbrough

Chairman Gibson: Steve Agnew can be 'glue to unify' Middlesbrough

The Spaniard's former assistant has been placed in temporary charge of team affairs while Gibson assesses his options, of which one is to install a proven firefighter on a short-term basis.

When quizzed by BT Sport on whether he planned to contact Pearson or McClaren, the popular owner said: "No - we are going with Steve Agnew".

With Boro now 19th, without a league win since mid-December and having scored only three goals in their last 10 league games, Agnew faces quite a challenge and knows it. "Keeping us up would be the single biggest achievement of my life", he acknowledged.

"I've known Steve a long time", said Gibson.

Karanka said: "I'd like to thank Middlesbrough for a wonderful opportunity and the players, staff and all the people at the club who I have worked with".

"If we show that commitment and intensity until the end of the season, we have a real chance of staying up".

Gibson, who has special advisor Peter Kenyon's contacts to draw upon, has turned to experience in the past, drafting in former England boss Terry Venables to work alongside Bryan Robson in December 2000, although the circumstances this time around are very different. I think I'm capable of delivering it and the players are capable.

"He took us from a club that was struggling in the Championship to the Premier League".

Speaking before the game, Gibson had hinted Agnew could be Karanka's long-term successor as manager.

"He is a very good coach, a deep thinker, has loads of experience, knows this club, is a man of integrity and the players trust and like him". One thing I know is how hard Aitor worked at this club, he's a tremendous guy and will go on to better things. I think he's relieved. "He's a very good coach and a very good No.2".

In the short term, though, a draw may be the best Boro will be hoping for today and, considering these two sides have drawn more games than any other teams in the division this season, it is a realistic goal for the hosts too.