Cooper wins coaching promotion at Boro

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The Independent Football

Colin Cooper will stand alongside Gareth Southgate in the Middlesbrough dug-out following Steve Round's departure. Southgate has confirmed Cooper's promotion within the club's coaching hierarchy, and said there is unlikely to be further appointments made for the foreseeable future.

The pair, who both retired from playing in the summer, linked up many times in the Boro backline over the past five seasons. Round, who has been linked with the vacant manager's job at Hull, parted company with Middlesbrough on Thursday after five and a half years, though his role as a coach within the England set-up remains unchanged.

He was appointed as a coach by Steve McClaren, who worked with him at Derby County. Round was promoted to assistant-manager, but was replaced by the former Sunderland manager Malcolm Crosby and reverted to first team coaching duties following Southgate's appointment as manager in the summer.

Cooper has been working with Boro's reserve team and will be seen in his more high-profile role on Monday, when the club visit Fulham.

"I've been here six months, I've had an opportunity to assess lots of things and I feel there's a need for change," Southgate said. "I felt I needed a bit of a change on the coaching side of things. I think it's important everybody is pulling in the same direction. Steve and I had a chat about it and I felt the time was right for some changes to be made.

"I think it's important to make my mark on things and to operate in the way that I want. It's important that things work in the way that I want them to work.

"I'm very grateful for Steve's contribution over the last six months and wish him every success for the future. He was very relaxed about the situation, he's got a lot of things going on, especially with England, and he's been here over five years, which is a long time.

"As time goes on there will be changes on the playing side of things as well," added Southgate, who has admitted he will listen to offers for out-of-favour imports Gaizka Mendieta and Massimo Maccarone in January.

While Cooper's influence increases, Malcolm Crosby will retain his assistant-manager role, Steve Harrison will continue to coach the first team and Paul Barron will look after the keepers.

"I'm proud to be the manager of Middlesbrough and I know Colin is proud to have been a player and now a coach at the club," Southgate said. "He has an affinity for the area. He's a very solid guy and somebody I look forward to having alongside me in the dressing room and dug-out."

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