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Middlesbrough boss Southgate: Gibson ideal chairman to work for

Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate says Steve Gibson is the ideal chairman to work for.

"I wouldn't have been managing anywhere else last season, but I could see what was in place here, with the academy and so on, so I knew it was a fantastic opportunity," Southgate told the Observer. "And yes, Steve Gibson is on his own as a chairman.

"The point was quietly made to me last season that if we went down it would cost the club £30million. He didn't say anything about me being sacked, but he said we needed to stay in the league, and felt with all the upheaval and it being my first season that that was a realistic target. It was brave of him to appoint a novice and I am still grateful. It's a strength for us that we have a chairman who comes from the town and who wants to give something back. People are often looking for a quick fix and clubs that have been taken over sometimes see an injection of cash, but there can be a downside. The stability of this club is a major plus. I'm fortunate to be learning my trade as a manager at a club that isn't aiming for something beyond reach."

Above all else, Southgate says, Gibson has a sense of perspective about how quickly things can be achieved.

"If things were going wrong I'm sure he would act as swiftly as he does in his own business, but he is realistic. He doesn't expect us to be a Champions League team in 18 months. That gives you time to plan and get your head above the water. Last year was firefighting, trying to fix things as I went along. Only towards the end of the season was it possible to plan ahead.

"I've got more belief in myself now. And the one thing I know here is that no one inside the club is against me. The whole club is very much united."

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Tribal Football Staff

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