AMBITIOUS chairman Steve Gibson has pulled off a footballing coup by bringing in Aitor Karanka as Middlesbrough’s new manager.
Boro called a media conference today at Rockliffe Park where the 40-year-old Spaniard was expected to be unveiled as the successor to Tony Mowbray, who was sacked last mnonth after a dire run of form in 2013.
Karanka spent three years as the assistant boss to Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid but he left the Spanish giants in the summer following Carlo Ancelotti’s appointment at the Bernebeu.
It will be the one-time capped Spanish defender’s first managerial job.
But that will not put off Gibson, whose first three full-time appointments at Boro were all rookie bosses, although all three had been great players or coaches.
Gibson gave Bryan Robson his first managerial role and then subsequently did the same when he installed Steve McClaren and Gareth Southgate.
THe only surprise is his decision to move away from his previous ‘made in Britain’ policy – his other Boro appointments have been Terry Venables, who was brought in during a difficult spell fopr Robson in the top flight, Gordon Strachan and Mowbray.
Karanka’s credentials look highly impressive which has prompted Gibson to change tack.
A defender for both Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid, it has been his spell alongside Mourinho which has earned him his chance.
Caretaker boss Mark Venus, who has been in charge for three weeks, experiencing a win, draw and defeat, is expected to leave the Riverside along with coaches Mark Proctor and Stephen Pears.
Karanka is expected to bring in his own backroom team.
Following Saturday’s draw with Watford, the Seaton Carew-born Venus spoke of the importance of building Boro’s brittle confidence.
“The team hasn’t got as much confidence as what people think it has,” he said.
“It’s pretty evident when you watch the team, they need some results to try to get more belief.”