Gibson won't rule out Agnew

17 March 2017 06:35:05 EST

Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson has revealed that interim boss Steve Agnew could be considered to replace Aitor Karanka on a permanent basis.

The Boro supremo has broken his silence a day after the Premier League strugglers parted company with Karanka following his three-and-a-half-year tenure on Teesside.

I've known Steve a long time. He's a very good coach and a very good number two. There's more to him than people know and a bit more steel.

Steve Gibson

Gibson is adamant that the Spaniard was not sacked, but claimed the 43-year-old made the decision to depart in an effort to help the club stop the rot which has resulted in them dropping into the relegation zone - three points from safety - after no wins in 10 games.

He told the Times: "I know people are cynical when you say that a decision was mutual, but he wasn't sacked. He sacrificed himself.

"He's in a good frame of mind. I think he's relieved. He has been enormous for our club. He has progressed us and he will have learnt an enormous amount from this experience.

"He's got a wonderful future in football – I really think that."

Gibson's job is to find a successor, but he insists no hasty appointment will be made, despite their being just 11 games remaining.

And it seems Agnew will be given every opportunity to impress ahead of his first game in charge when Manchester United are the visitors on Sunday.

He said: "I've known Steve a long time. He's a very good coach and a very good number two. There's more to him than people know and a bit more steel.

"Steve could be a surprise number one. That may disappoint those people who want glamour and somebody to come in ready-made, a sexy name, but that's not what we need at this point.

"I want to find out about Steve."

Agnew is 2/5 to be the next permanent manager, while former captain Nigel Pearson is 25/1 and Guus Hiddink can be backed at 28/1.

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