27 Dec 2017


"I was saddened to be informed by Middlesbrough Football Club on Saturday evening that my services as the club's manager and those of my staff were no longer required. Just hours earlier we had enjoyed what we felt was the side's best away performance of the season in our win against Sheffield Wednesday.

"My staff and I were surprised by the timing of the decision. Of course, we expected to be higher up the league and to be seeing more consistent performances by this stage. I do accept my responsibility for that. But the feeling amongst everyone in the dressing room after Saturday's game was that it was the turning point in our season, knowing that there was still half of the campaign remaining. Particularly in view of the fact that we were only three points off the play-off places with some really winnable games coming up, we felt that we would be able to make up more ground on the teams occupying the top spots. We were all really confident that we could still achieve the target of promotion to the Premier League, which was set at the start of the season. We knew that the great commitment levels being shown by the players on a daily basis towards our work would pay dividends. I really hope that the club can now keep moving up the league.

"I would like to express my thanks to everyone at Middlesbrough Football Club for the opportunity I was given last summer and also to the staff at Rockliffe Park training ground for helping to create an excellent working environment. Furthermore, I wish to thank the Boro fans for their brilliant support at home games and for travelling in their numbers to away matches. A special thanks goes to the players for all their hard work and dedication. I wish them all the very best in the future."