Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Carling Cup Is Just the Start

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Carling Cup Is Just the Start

Article excerpt

Steve McClaren has helped to put Boro's first piece of silverware in the trophy cabinet - but the history-making boss has no intention of resting on his laurels.

McClaren is already looking firmly to the future and the prospect of guiding the club towards the next step of its ambitions.

In fact the manager is adamant that Boro must use their magnificent Carling Cup Final victory as a stepping stone to bringing further glory to Teesside.

He said: "The fact that Middlesbrough Football Club had never won a major trophy in 128 years of trying was a major barrier.

"It was a barrier that we needed to remove as quickly as possible, and now we have done that.

"But we can not afford to sit back and continue to accept the congratulations following our win at the Millennium Stadium.

"What we have achieved is very important but we have to make sure that we use it to take the club forward and achieve the next stage of our ambitions.

"We don't want to stand still. If we try to do that, then we risk going backwards.

"We have to continue to make progress. So we must use the cup final victory as a stepping stone."

McClaren has already stressed that he wants to bring more trophies to Teesside, though at the same time he is determined to maintain his policy of gradually improving the all-round strength of the club.

That means making an impact in the Premiership.

Boro have not always done themselves justice in the league this season, particularly at home, and now the manager wants to see all efforts concentrated on bringing about a strong finale.

McClaren's target this season was a major trophy, if possible, and a place in the top ten.

Once this latter objective has been achieved, the manager wants to see the club stay there - and challenge for a place in the top six.

Steve said: "Everybody has been congratulating us for winning the cup and their comments are very much appreciated.

"It's been tremendous. We have many fantastic memories of the day at Cardiff and the victory parade through Middlesbrough.

"But now we have to put our medals away and start achieving things again on the pitch. We must refocus.

"There are a lot of points still to play for and I want to see us finish the rest of our Premiership programme as best as we possibly can.

"I've been absolutely delighted with our improved away form. People who have seen us away from home have been impressed with a lot of our performances.

"But we haven't always done as well as we would have liked at home, so that's one area where I would like to see a distinct improvement before the end of the season.

"As we keep saying, the league is our bread and butter. We have to concentrate fully on this all the way.

"The players have been set their targets. They are aware of what we are trying to achieve. …

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