Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Next Boss Will Be a Lucky Man - Neil

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Next Boss Will Be a Lucky Man - Neil

Article excerpt

Byline: JONATHON TAYLOR jonathon.taylor@trinitymirror.com @JonathonTaylor1

FORMER Middlesbrough player and BBC Tees pundit Neil Maddison admits he was shocked by Garry Monk's sudden sacking - but feels his successor will be a very lucky manager indeed.

Monk's departure on Saturday night after just six months in charge sent shockwaves across Teesside, but now the focus is on who will be tasked with leading Boro into 2018.

Tony Pulis is the red-hot favourite to take over at the Riverside, with Nigel Pearson and Aitor Karanka also linked with the hotseat.

Whoever is given the nod, Maddison feels they have all the tools required to be a big success at the Riverside - with 23 matches left to spark a promotion push and with a talented squad of players already in place.

"It's a surprise that Monk has gone," Maddison told The Gazette.

"You look at his reaction after the Sheffield Wednesday game, going over to the players and shaking everybody's hands, but I think that was just because he was delighted with the result - nothing else.

"I was watching Match of the Day, my phone was upstairs but then when I went to bed and heard the news I couldn't believe it - my phone had melted!

"Football is a funny game, and there's no doubt that the chairman has Middlesbrough Football Club's best interests at heart. If he is not happy or believes there's somebody better out there then we have to support that.

"Whether it's been planned or whether Garry himself has said he's interested in moving somewhere else, we don't know - but if it is Steve Gibson's decision then you'd have to think he has somebody lined up and ready to come in."

Monk left Boro just hours after his side's 2-1 win at Sheffield Wednesday at the weekend, a first win in four on the road.

In their last six fixtures, Boro have won three and lost three - and it's that inconsistency that has ultimately led to a pre-Christmas bombshell being dropped in the North-east. …

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