Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Strach Seeks Soul Power

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Strach Seeks Soul Power

Article excerpt

GORDON Strachan reckons Boro will hit top gear once "the soul of the dressing room" is re-established.

The Boro boss is pleased with the way in which his seven new signings are settling in.

But he reckons that it takes time for any new team to create its own identity and project a unified personality.

Strachan said: "You can't change a whole team and expect it to gel just like that.

"We felt the changes were necessary, and I've been delighted with the way in which the new lads have been accepted into the dressing room. But the club is not settled yet. We are getting there, but we are yet to build the soul of the dressing room."

Strachan made three relatively early signings in January in Barry Robson, Willo Flood and Chris Killen.

Stephen McManus was next, followed by Lee Miller, Kyle Naughton and Scott McDonald on deadline day.

Boro have played five games since the transfer window closed, winning two, drawing one and losing two.

These results suggest that the new faces have yet to set the heather alight.

But the six-match unbeaten run which preceded the two away defeats at Blackpool and Nottingham Forest indicated that the squad is becoming stronger.

Strachan said: "We are not settled yet, but I think the players are starting to enjoy working together.

"It has to be a gradual thing because that's how it works.

"But everybody in the squad is trying their best to win games, and that's what we need.

"That's why I felt so sorry for the players after the Forest defeat.

"No way did they deserve to lose that game."

With five of the new signings having come from Celtic, there could have been an argument for believing that cliques would develop in the Boro dressing room -potentially with a Scottish theme.

But this hasn't happened, and that shouldn't come as a surprise, especially as two of the Celtic five originate from Down Under, while another is an Irishman. …

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