‘Boro can avoid drop’
STEVE Agnew doesn’t know if he’ll be in charge of Boro at Swansea, but he does think the club can avoid the drop.
Middlesbrough put in a spirited performance against Manchester United, their first fixture following Aitor Karanka’s departure.
Jose Mourinho’s side won 3-1.
It was a cruel blow but Agnew took great heart from Boro’s display.
Asked if he though the club could stay up if they play with similar spirit over the remaining Premier League fixtures, he said: “Yes, absolutely.
“I think the performance was intense, it was everything you want in terms of commitment.
“Of course we’ve got to start winning football matches but I’ve been in this league before and I know one game, one win, three points, can change everything.
“I have every confidence and every belief that all the work that goes in behind the scenes with the staff and with the players that we have are more than capable of winning football matches.”
Second bottom Boro are next in action at Swansea City on April 2, a game that could go a long way to deciding the club’s Premier League future.
The Swans are five points and two places better off than Agnew’s men but have played a game more.
Victory at the Liberty Stadium would give the Teessiders a fighting chance of overhauling City in the run-in.
Agnew, appointed as head coach immediately after Karanka left the club, admits he doesn’t know how long he’ll be in charge for.
He was asked in his post match press conference whether he was due to sit down with Steve Gibson to discuss his future.
He answered: “I have no idea, I mean Manchester United was everything in my mind for the next two or three days and at the minute we’ve got a couple of days off, there’s a few players away on international duty and then we’ll be back in preparing for Swansea.”
Does he expect to have a meeting in the next few days?
“Again, I can’t answer that question I’m just doing what I think will happen this week.
“I’ve not had a conversation with the chairman so, again, all I think about, like I did with Manchester United, is Swansea, but I’ve got a little bit more time to think about it.”
Asked how difficult the three days after Karanka’s departure have been, he continued: “It’s not been so much difficult, it’s been a whirlwind if you like, but it’s not been difficult.
“I’ve enjoyed every minute of it and, OK, we’re not in this industry to lose football matches and that’s one thing I’m not in it for, I’m not a particularly good loser, but when I see a group of players and a stadium of supporters reacting like that together, that gives us loads of optimism for the future.”
What Agnew does know is that his players gave everything to the cause against Manchester United.
“Their attitude and application, the intensity they played the game at was first class.
“To push Manchester United all the way was something that I was really pleased with.”