Next year we’ll smash it - Gibbo
MIDDLESBROUGH chairman Steve Gibson has described the club’s relegation to the Championship as “heartbreaking” but says he wants to “smash the league” next season and bounce back as champions.
In an interview with BBC Tees expert pundit Neil Maddison following Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Southampton, Gibson admitted “many things have gone wrong” this season and says an announcement on managerial situation will be made when the club is ready.
He was also asked about Aitor Karanka’s departure, reports of a potential takeover and gave a message to the fans ahead of next season. Here’s the interview in full.
How would you describe the season?
“It’s been disappointing, heartbreaking really, not what we expected.
“The season has been tough, I think you make decisions, we made decisions and we thought at the time we were making the right ones, but we haven’t fulfilled our objective and that tells us we have made mistakes .”
What’s gone wrong?
“Many things have gone wrong.
“The recruitment policy was not what we thought, there was disruption on the management side which has affected players on pitch.
“We can talk about last season forever. We now need to look ahead to next season.”
What are your plans for next season?
“Our plans have to be change all aspects of the club.
“We’ve spent the last month looking at what we’ve done and how we can do better.
“I have to be careful what I say as it affects people who are currently at the club and not at the club, but fans want me to deliver rather than talk about potentially delivering.”
Have you got any thoughts on the manager for next season?
“Yes, but I’ll keep them to myself. When we’re ready to announce that, I will.
“We have some great people at Middlesbrough Football Club.
“It’s been painful for all of us. It’s not a pleasant time but we have to be tenacious and take it on the chin. We have to move on and start planning and get fired up for next season.”
Was Aitor Karanka’s departure a tough decision?
“The decision made itself over a passage of time. It’s very easy looking back on relegation and the season and to look for scapegoats. I don’t want to do that.
“It’s about collective responsibility. We’ve failed, we know we’ve failed. It hurts, we need to correct that hurt.
“We have the most unbelievable set of fans, they kept going, they’ve kept being supportive, they’ve been immense.”
Was an outside appointment lined up to replace Karanka when he left?
“No, there was never anybody lined up.
“I think the world of Steve Agnew, he’s worked here a long time, gives it his best, he’s an intelligent guy and knows the game inside out.
“He was the players’ choice as well as my choice.
“The circumstances prevailed against him. Let’s not get into too much detail. Leave me to deal with it.
“The only place I want to be is in the Premier League. We’re in a good financial stable position, we should have more resources going into next season than any other club.”
What’s the target next season?
“We want to smash the league, we want to go up as champions.
“We need to bring in the type of players to do what I said.
“We have a core of players who we feel are more than capable. We need to add to them, more flair, more pace.”
Asked about reported takeover attempts?
“Don’t believe all you read in press and don’t believe it from those who say they’re making offers from China.”
Have you got a message for the Boro fans?
“We’re going to give it our best shot next season.
“You’ve been magnificent, you’ve deserved better.
“We’ll do everything we can to get back in Premier League, to be competitive, and stay in the Premier League.”
Boro chairman Steve Gibson