Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

'I Would Never Put Most of the Blame on a Manager. It Is Always the Players'

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

'I Would Never Put Most of the Blame on a Manager. It Is Always the Players'

Article excerpt

Byline: ANTHONY VICKERS anthony.vickers@trinitymirror.com @Untypicalboro

MARTEN de Roon says the Boro players let Aitor Karanka down - and they have no intention of doing it again with new boss Steve Agnew.

The Dutch battler says the responsibility for the season shrivelling lies firmly on the squad's shoulders.

And after probably the best display of the campaign in the 2-2 draw with Manchester City he admits it is deeply frustrating that Boro have left it so late to show what they can do.

The honest engine room grafter said: "I think as a team we let the first gaffer down this season and we are all determined we don't want to let a second one down.

"We didn't get a win so soon after the change and I think that is our responsibility and not the coach."

Asked what difference Agnew has made since taking over from the departed Karanka, de Roon pointed to the renewed team spirit.

"Every coach offers something different," he explained. "Since Steve Agnew took charge he tried to make us more of a team, make it more about a team performance and he told us that as a group of 25 players we have to work with each other. That is what he believes."

But he says he is not surprised there wasn't an instant upturn from a struggling team that went four months without a league win.

"We didn't have a victory for a long time before Steve and then not straight away after he came so of course confidence is low," he said.

"But winning a game is always a boost even if was not such a good game so I'm not surprised that after Sunderland we gave a better performance against City.

"It is always difficult to say if a change of manager will be a success and personally I would never put most of the blame on a manager. It is always the players.

"You cannot sack 25 players but you can sack the manager and hope for something great to happen. …

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