Friday, October 23, 2009

Boro delay Strachan announcement

Gordon Strachan
Strachan has previously managed Coventry, Southampton and Celtic

Championship side Middlesbrough have delayed appointing former Celtic boss Gordon Strachan as their new manager.

Chairman Steve Gibson told BBC Tees on Wednesday that he hoped to name Gareth Southgate's replacement before Saturday's trip to Preston.

But it is now believed that there will be no announcement for at least the next 48 hours.

Boro confirmed on Thursday that first team coach Colin Cooper would take charge at Deepdale.

He will be assisted by fellow coach Steve Agnew and goalkeeping coach Stephen Pears.

Strachan, 52, left Celtic in May and has also managed Coventry and Southampton.

Promotion is the only objective for the season

Boro chairman Steve Gibson

Former England defender Southgate was dismissed on Tuesday, just hours after his team defeated Derby 2-0.

The victory took Boro to fourth in the Championship, one point adrift of top spot, following relegation from the Premier League last season.

Gibson appointed rookie managers Bryan Robson, Steve McClaren and Southgate during his reign as chairman at the Riverside Stadium, but indicated he wanted a more experienced name in charge - with Strachan fitting the bill.

BBC 5 live's chief football reporter Ian Dennis said: "Strachan will be charged with realising Gibson's objective of winning promotion at the first attempt.

"Middlesbrough are just one point from the top - and Strachan will inherit a splendid opportunity."

Boro had suffered three defeats at home already this season, the latest of which came against Watford on Saturday.

"When I sat down and considered our start to the season, I felt that the league table was actually more favourable than some of our performances," Gibson's statement on the club website read.

"Then I looked at the important games against the teams immediately around us, and took those results into account.

"In general the results and the performances have not been to the level I would have hoped for.

"Before last night, our five home games had brought in seven points. That will not get us promoted - and promotion is the only objective for the season."

Middlesbrough v Derby

Middlesbrough 2-0 Derby (UK only)

Strachan is a former Scotland international midfielder who played for Dundee, Aberdeen, Manchester United, Leeds and Coventry during a successful career.

He became player-manager of Coventry in 1996 and remained at the club until his dismissal at the end of the 2000-01 season.

Strachan took over at Saints in October 2001 and took the club to the 2003 FA Cup Final before resigning in February 2004.

The Scot succeeded Martin O'Neill as Celtic boss and won the SPL title in three consecutive seasons. He left the club after failing to retain the title last season.

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