Middlesbrough boss: I can handle the pressure

Middlesbrough manager Gordon Strachan is insisting: "Don't feel sorry for me".

Middlesbrough manager Gordon Strachan is insisting: "Don't feel sorry for me".

Fans at the Riverside were calling for Strachan to be sacked after the 2-1 defeat by Leeds left Boro, the pre-season npower Championship title favourites, floundering in 20th place.

But the Scot said: "The ones I feel sorry for are the players and the fans.

"It's surreal. I understand how the supporters reacted today because they are scared when their team is not winning. They have a right to voice their opinion and they are disappointed right now. So are we.

"I expect there to be a reaction and it is down to us to deal with it.

"I feel sorry for the players too because they have put everything into the game and got nothing out of it.

"Things go against you sometimes - deflections, injuries, decisions - but it has been like that all season for us, every little mistake they make has been punished."