Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

'Not to Change Would Be Madness'

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

'Not to Change Would Be Madness'

Article excerpt


STEVE Agnew admits it would "madness" to think major changes aren't required at Middlesbrough following a season that's ended in relegation.

Boro sign off their campaign at Liverpool tomorrow looking to gain a positive result from a game the hosts need to win to guarantee a top four finish.

Agnew's side will finish 19th whatever the outcome and he admits there'll have to be a root and branch investigation into what went wrong following the club's promotion in May last year.

Steve Gibson, speaking to BBC Tees after last Saturday's 2-1 home defeat to Southampton, said: "Our plans have to be change in all aspects of the club."

Agnew was asked directly about those comments in his pre-match press conference at Rockliffe Park and he answered: "The thing we all have to do is take responsibility for what has happened this season, so I think to not change anything would be madness.

"We all have to accept that we didn't get everything right. So we have to reflect, we have to pick the bones out of it, ask what did we get wrong, what do we need to do better and make sure that we're in a good, strong position to compete at the top of the Championship."

It's likely that Agnew's position as head coach will be addressed in the days after the Liverpool game.

It's unclear whether he'll retain his role or be replaced by an outside candidate and he accepts that there's speculation about the manager's position.

"I keep saying Liverpool is the only thing on my mind, but I'm not daft, and once the game's finished and we're all in on Monday to close the season down," he said.

"Then, I'm sure, there'll be contact from the chairman, I'm sure there will be because obviously we have to start planning and be ready for the new season."

On Gibson's interview itself, Agnew added: "I just think he was honest, he was saying how he felt in reflection to what has happened and that we are all very, very disappointed in how the season has gone and, to use his words, '(we want to) smash the Championship.'" ."

There's no denying Boro have struggled to adapt to the intensity of the Premier League. …

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