Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Strach Makes Instant Impact; with a Glint in His Eye, New Boss Is in Spotlight

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Strach Makes Instant Impact; with a Glint in His Eye, New Boss Is in Spotlight

Article excerpt


IT'S always better to leave an impression than none at all and it took Gordon Strachan just 53 seconds to make one at his public unveiling as Boro's new manager.

Once the introductions were over, Sky Sports fired the opening question, asking Strachan what had lured him out of a five-month break since his departure from Celtic to succeed Gareth Southgate on a four-year contract.

Instead of getting straight to the meat of the matter, Strachan told their reporter it was unusual not to see him standing outside Newcastle in the pouring rain.

"I've felt sorry for you on numerous occasions," said the Scot, who is renowned for his spiky sense of humour.

Strachan's trademark cutting response was one of several caustic lines he threw at the media gathered at the Riverside Stadium.

Some questions he met with mild bewilderment, a few more fanciful ones with disdain.

But while some of his fiery patter might have gone down like Marmite at times in some sections of the room, it was impossible not to be struck by his sheer enthusiasm for football and the Boro job during an engrossing half hour.

Strachan is genial and entertaining. He had a glint in his eye.

He has given up travelling around the world and spending time with his family in favour of a switch to Teesside, where he will live as well as work.

And he cites the challenge ahead and steadfast backing the club has shown its managers over the years as key components in his switch.

"First of all, I don't need to be here and I don't have to be here," he said.

"I'm here because I want to be here. "When I left Celtic, anybody that was close to me I told it would be very, very difficult for me to retrace my steps in terms of jobs and the excitement I had there.

"That job and previous jobs were different and I've got the chance to do something different here.

"I've been very lucky when I was out that I had things to contemplate.

"For one reason or another, it just wasn't right for me. This is the one that felt right, it's a special job.

"I know who the chairman is, I know where the money comes from and the stability of the club is one of the reasons I thought: 'Well, you have a chance here to develop things the way you would like to see a team developing.' Developing younger players, making players better. These are the things that attracted me to the job."

While some of Strachan's responses could be described as obscure, he was also typically straight-talking and measured when it came to stating his objectives.

He never once began beating his chest to make grand predictions about Boro winning titles, automatic promotion or play-off spots.

He knows they are in a good position in a competitive league and simply declared his wish to make the club better both on and off the pitch. …

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