Strachan aims to get Middlesbrough off to a screamer

Gordon Strachan's first game in charge of Celtic could not have veered further off the rails, a 5-0 embarrassment by the unheralded Czech side Artmedia that, in the goldfish bowl of Glasgow football, raised immediate doubts over his tenure. He failed to win either of his debut games when at Coventry or Southampton, his other managerial stopovers, which cannot inspire those of a superstitious nature at this most supernatural time of year.

But failing to win home games against Plymouth, Middlesbrough's opponents for Strachan's latest bow this afternoon, will not deliver the return to the Premier League which the Scot has been hired to bring about. In a Championship that sees the top 11 sides covered by a couple of wins and promises to produce a frantically tight scramble for promotion, victories over the likes of Paul Sturrock's strugglers are a necessity.

Middlesbrough's form at the Riverside had much to do with Gareth Southgate's demise. They have lost three times in seven home Championship games this season, a poorer record than Ipswich, who prop up the table. Southgate's last game, the 2-0 win over Derby, ended a run of three goalless defeats, notably a 5-0 rubbishing by West Bromwich Albion.

Home support has waned on the back of these results. Less than 17,500 witnessed Southgate's last hurrah, a 6,000 fall on the opening day attendance against Sheffield United and 10,000 fewer than saw the last home game in the Premier League in May. It is time, believes Strachan, slipping into Halloween character, to give the Boro's fans something to scream about, but in a good way.

"We've got to work together," said Strachan. "You can't expect the fans to jump up and down, scream and shout and enjoy themselves if you're not giving them something to scream and shout about, because they'll look very silly. We appreciate how the fans can help us, but we've got to help them and give them something to enjoy."

Strachan yesterday made his first signing, bringing striker Marcus Bent on a two-month loan from Birmingham.

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
tv
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
art
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine