Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson says exhausted Aitor Karanka 'sacrificed himself'

  • Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson says exhausted Aitor Karanka 'sacrificed himself'

Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson says exhausted Aitor Karanka 'sacrificed himself'

MIDDLESBROUGH chairman has no plans to approach Nigel Pearson or Steve McClaren to replace Aitor Karanka. What we concluded - he and I - was that he perhaps wasn't the guy at this point in time to deliver that change.

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.

Wheras Karanka had, at times, criticised the club's supporters and the mindsets of certain players, Agnew, pointedly, praised both the fans - "they've been absolutely first class all season" - and the "attitudes and application" of "the best set of players I've worked with".

They fell 2-0 behind on Sunday to goals from Marouane Fellaini and Jesse Lingard, before substitute Rudy Gestede pulled one back with Boro's first league goal for 509 minutes.

'I couldn't be more proud of the group of players, ' Agnew said.

Staunchly supported by Steve Gibson, Boro's owner who, very much hoping he will prove himself a suitable choice to rescue the team from relegation, has permitted the 51-year-old to hire Joe Jordan as his assistant, Agnew made it clear his is a much more attacking manifesto than his predecessor's. If we show that kind of commitment and intensity then we have a real chance of staying in this league.

He told the club's website: "I hope he's here this time next year or the year after". He is a very good coach, a deep thinker, loads of experience, knows this club, is a man of integrity and the players trust and like him.

United are in sixth place in the Premier League with 49 points, six points behind fourth-place Liverpool and the coveted Champions League places.

"I did not think it was a amusing situation". He's a very good coach and a very good number two.

"We are better because of him and I hope he is better because of the experience".