Gordon Strachan's reign as Middlesbrough manager came to an end last night a few days short of a year since he replaced Gareth Southgate. Strachan won just 13 of the 46 games for which he was in charge despite his side being installed as pre-season favourites to win promotion back to the Premier League. Speculation over the former Celtic manager's future had been circulating for several weeks, and that grew yesterday when he cancelled his press conference ahead of tonight's match at Nottingham Forest, although the official reason was that he was ill.
The Scot was appointed as successor to Southgate on 26 October last year with chairman Steve Gibson deciding the club needed a change despite lying in fourth place in the Championship, only a point behind then leaders West Bromwich. But they finished the campaign 40 points worse off than eventual champions Newcastle and eight behind sixth-placed Blackpool, who went on to win the play-off final.
Boro were installed as pre-season favourites to win promotion this time, but head into tonight's game 16 points adrift of leaders QPR and seven shy of the play-off places.
Middlesbrough confirmed Strachan's exit in a statement on their website, stating he departed by mutual consent. Gibson said: "Gordon is a man of great integrity. He has torn up his contract and walked away without compensation because he felt it was in the best interests of this football club. There are very few managers who have ever done that but that is the mark of the man. He feels he has given it everything he has got here but it hasn't worked out and he has taken full responsibility for that." Coach Steve Agnew has been put in caretaker charge of the team.