Middlesbrough caretaker Steve Agnew has the appetite for more games in charge

Steve Agnew: Has enjoyed being in charge at Boro despite their desperate plight.Steve Agnew: Has enjoyed being in charge at Boro despite their desperate plight.
Steve Agnew: Has enjoyed being in charge at Boro despite their desperate plight.
Steve Agnew's stint as Middlesbrough head coach has left him hungry for more as he attempts to pull off a remarkable great escape.

The 51-year-old was asked to step into Aitor Karanka’s shoes at the Riverside Stadium when the Spaniard parted company with the club in March, with chairman Steve Gibson handing him the chance to make the job his own.

Agnew said at the time that he was ready to step into the limelight having served his apprenticeship as a coach and – with former Manchester United great Ryan Giggs the latest man to be linked with the job on a long-term basis – he is keen to carry on his progression.

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Asked if his recent experience had made him hungry for more as he prepared his side for Monday night’s daunting and potentially pivotal trip to leaders Premier League Chelsea, he said: “Yes, I think it has.

“Every day that you’re in it, you obviously become more and more experienced with it and, as we all know, a day in football is a long, long time.

“It’s something that I’ve enjoyed the challenge of and I am determined to see it through to hopefully get the three points on Monday night.”

Under Agnew, Boro have enjoyed a modest improvement in fortunes, winning in the league for the first time in 2017 against Sunderland, on April 26, and collecting six points from the eight games they have played, two more than they had managed from Karanka’s final 10 outings.

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However, they remain in desperate relegation trouble and know that if Hull beat the Black Cats at the KCOM Stadium today, anything less than victory at Stamford Bridge would send them down.

Agnew said: “We’ll have one eye on the Hull result, but there’s nothing we can do to affect that. Of course, if it goes our way, then we’ll look forward to Monday.

“We know what we have to do at Chelsea anyway, so it’s something we’re prepared to take on.”

Captain Grant Leadbitter and Adlene Guedioura have returned to training after hamstring and groin injuries, respectively, but goalkeeper Victor Valdes and defender Daniel Ayala are still struggling, while Gaston Ramirez has a pelvic problem.