Neil Warnock just wants to have fun after deciding to stay at Middlesbrough FC

MIDDLESBROUGH manager Neil Warnock has agreed a deal to manage the club next season - and is targetting a big promotion push next season, while not quite giving up on the current campaign just yet.

Neil Warnock.
Neil Warnock.

The 72-year-old was initially brought in on a short-term deal at the end of last term and guided the club to Championship safety in impressive fashion and as they avoided a first relegation to the third tier since 1985-86 - after he replaced Jonathan Woodgate.

Warnock has steadied the ship this season and put Boro into play-off contention and will now stay on at the club for another campaign, having repeatedly spoken of his enjoyment at working at the club and for chairman Steve Gibson.

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Warnock, who has yet to lead a Boro side in front of fans at the Riverside Stadium, will be assisted by trusty lieutenants Kevin Blackwell and Ronnie Jepson.

The Yorkshireman has handed a number of contract extensions to a number of players who have excelled under him this term, with his big priority in the summer likely to involve around freshening up his striking options to propel Boro into serious promotion contenders, should they miss out this season - with Warnock having been critical of the goalscoring output of his forwards.

He said: "In the meeting I had with Steve (Gibson - chairman), he knows we are not missing a lot. It is not as if we are going to look for an entire team. We have already re-signed a lot of the major positions in the club. We are looking for one or two good players and he is determined to get me these players.

"We are not going to spend money stupidly, I don't think I have ever done that. But we want two or three players for pre-season and we want to have some fun. That's the thing. Football has been a hard, long slog in the pandemic for managers and players and we have got to have some fun and entertain everyone and that is why it is important fans come back.

"You got the vibes from fans, good and bad, and I have even missed the ones away from home. I do not want to finish my career without waving to the Bristol City fans and one or two others away from home, thanking them for all these years..."