Karanka deserves to be sacked - Mourinho

The Premier League strugglers are without a manager after Aitor Karanka resigned on Thursday with the club sitting 19th in the table.

"I see myself as a creative coach and I know I'm capable of drip-feeding my ideas into the group", said the Yorkshireman, now in his third stint at Boro, having also coached at Leeds, Hartlepool and Hull following a playing career encompassing Barnsley, Blackburn, Leicester and Sunderland.

Despite playing a straight bat as he addressed the media for the first time on Friday, Agnew subtly made it clear he is a very different coach to Karanka.

That perilous position prompted Gibson and Karanka to end their three years together at the Riverside Stadium.

Karanka's assistant Steve Agnew has been placed in charge ahead of Sunday's clash with Manchester United, and Gibson will not make any snap decisions over a long-term appointment with 11 games of the season remaining.

Jose Mourinho feels that Karanka's sacking was harsh and deserved more time.

"But I keep using the word "confident", and I do believe we'll stay in the Premier League".

He added: "In the first year he arrived, the team was going into League One and he saved the team".

With five wins and no defeats to their name in the seven away league games, odds of 6/4 (2.50) seem generous on United winning to nil against a blunt Middlesbrough side on Sunday.

"In the second year, he took the team to Wembley, to play the playoff final".

"So I think in the fourth year, he deserved to be sacked".

Middlesbrough chairman, Steve Gibson, wants to give Agnew the head coach role on a long-term basis, even though the vastly experienced former Holland and Chelsea manager Gus Hiddink is available and interested in the job.

  • Julie Sanders