Middlesbrough v Nottingham Forest: Tony Pulis proving Steve Gibson was right

JUST over nine months into their working relationship and the footballing '˜marriage' between Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis and chairman Steve Gibson is a healthy one.

Tony Pulis: Enjoying fine partnership with Steve Gibson.
Tony Pulis: Enjoying fine partnership with Steve Gibson.

Pulis is part of the way through an overhaul of Boro’s squad, which is yet to be completed, but it is widely perceived to be more Championship-ready than it was this time last year – with the Teessiders’ current status as joint-leaders seeming to confirm that.

It has more than justified Gibson’s decision to appoint Pulis, whose Boro side are seeking to replicate the feats achieved by today’s occupant in the away dug-out in Aitor Karanka, who took the club to promotion in 2015-16 following play-off elimination in the previous campaign.

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On his relationship with Gibson, Pulis said: “Although Steve has known me for a long time, he had never ever worked with me.

“It is like a marriage, you can court someone for a long time, but when you marry someone, it is completely different when you are living in each other’s shoes.

“There has got to be a bit of trust and doing it the way we have done it or tried to do it has given Steve the trust that we are concerned about the football club and not one individual person in it.

“What Steve and myself and everyone connected with the club has done is cut an enormous loss from last year, with the amount of money that Steve has spent, and brought a lot more back in and I think we have got a better squad.”

Pulis has hit out at the EFL for scheduling their league fixture at Sheffield Wednesday for Friday, October 19, with the Boro chief unhappy that the game has been brought forward, with a host of his players likely to only return from international duty in midweek.

He said: “I am really disappointed they picked our game for the Friday when some of our players are not going to be back until the Wednesday.

“We have more players away than most clubs in the Championship and just hoped someone with a bit of common sense in the league would have looked at that.”