Middlesbrough play waiting game in hunt for new manager

Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson will not be rushed as the Championship side seek a new manager to take the club forward.

Will Jonathan Woodgate replace Tony Pulis as manager of Middlesbrough? (Picture: PA)

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It is understood club officials have spoken to a series of candidates since Tony Pulis’ exit, but that no appointment is imminent.

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Boro coach Jonathan Woodgate is understood to have given a presentation on his blueprint for the way forward for a side which ultimately missed out on the Sky Bet Championship play-offs this season.

Discussions have also taken place with former Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic, although sources on Teesside have played down speculation that he is a leading candidate.

Former Boro full-back Michael Reiziger is out of the running after being appointed as assistant coach at Ajax, where he had been working with the club’s young players.

Lincoln manager Danny Cowley, former Leicester boss Nigel Pearson, and ex-Preston and Sunderland counterpart Simon Grayson have all been touted as possible replacements for Pulis, although Aston Villa assistant John Terry, who has insisted he is happy where he is, is not believed to have been under consideration.

Boro are understood to be looking in a different direction after twice missing out on promotion during Pulis’ reign - he took over from Garry Monk in December 2017 and saw his side go down to Villa in the play-off semi-finals five months later.

Gibson has previous for appointing young, ambitious managers - he did so with Bryan Robson in 1994, Steve McClaren seven years later and also handed the reins to future England manager Gareth Southgate following McClaren’s departure in 2006 before giving Aitor Karanka his first managerial post.

Southgate is not the only man to emerge from the ranks either - assistant Steve Agnew was given every chance to make the job his own after stepping in as interim boss following Karanka’s exit in March 2017, although it was to Monk that he eventually turned.