Next year we’ll smash it - Gibbo

Middlesbrough Herald & Post - - SPORT -

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

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