Published: Sat, March 18, 2017
Sport | By Cecil Buchanan

Steve Agnew: Aitor Karanka exit "difficult and emotional"

Steve Agnew: Aitor Karanka exit

Gibson has insisted the man who was previously assistant to Mourinho at Real Madrid left of his own accord, dismissing reports he was sacked.

"Craig has done a fantastic job at Leicester if I can do what he's doing we'll all be pleased", Agnew told reporters on Friday ahead of their Premier League trip to face Manchester United on Sunday.

Middlesbrough could be boosted by the return of towering striker Rudy Gestede (hamstring) and Colombian centre-back Bernardo Espinosa (ankle) for the lunchtime visit of Jose Mourinho's tired Europa League quarter-finalists to Teeside, although captain George Friend and defensive colleagues Calum Chambers and Daniel Ayala are expected to remain sidelined. "I see myself as being a creative coach, slowly but surely I know I'm capable of drip-feeding ideas into the group that will pay dividends", he said.

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has said he "knows" the names of Middlesbrough players who allegedly helped to get Aitor Karanka the sack.

"In the first year when he arrived, the team was going to League One and he saved the team".

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"So I think in the fourth year, he deserved to be sacked". In the second year, he took them to Wembley to play in the play-off final.

Harry Redknapp is interested in returning to management with Middlesbrough should Steve Agnew's spell in charge prove unsuccessful.

The former Republic of Ireland worldwide continued: "There are names [being mentioned] galore, but I would personally go for Martin O'Neill, that would be my gut instinct".

The club have also appointed former Portsmouth, Tottenham Hotspur and QPR coach Joe Jordan to support Agnew during the run-in, with the interim boss expecting Jordan to have a "big impact" on his players.

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