Middlesbrough have shown a quick turnaround in the announcement of their new manager after the dismissal of Garry Monk, as it was announced that the former Stoke City, Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis will take the reigns at The Riverside Stadium.
I wanted a real challenge
The Monk era on Teesside only began back in the summer as he made the move from Leeds United following the club's relegation from the Premier League, Boro headed into the season as clear favourites for promotion either automatic or the play-off's but despite a good start have failed to really kick on under Monk.
Everything seemed fine for Monk going into a busy festive period with a 2-1 comeback against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday leaving them three points outside the play-offs in ninth, but hours following their win at Hillsborough the 38-year-old had been given ther boot by Steve Gibson with sources stating that the Chairman didn't believe Monk's playing style would get Boro back into the top-flight at the first time of asking.
It is believed that the club were also looking at Nigel Pearson along with the Welshman who has been out of work since his sacking by The Baggies in November following a 10-game winless streak in the league, Pulis will be watching Boro's Boxing Day clash with Bolton Wanderers from the stands but stated he is "looking forward" for the challenge.
“I wanted a challenge - a real challenge - and this reminds me so much of Stoke when I went there with Peter Coates," Pulis stated to mfc.co.uk. "Steve Gibson is a football man who understands the game. I have great respect for him as a person and an owner."
“I really am looking forward to this," the Welshman proclaimed. "The immediate challenge is finding out about the football club and as a team we have to get as many points as can, as quickly as we can."
“I wanted to come at this time because we have so many games in a short space of time," Pulis added. "And I can assess everything.”
Test of our character
The reaction to the sacking of Monk has proven to be a mixed bag amongst the Boro faithful, especially considering it coming off the back of their first away win since the visit to Hull City on Halloween.
It looked to be another bad day at the office for Boro after Sam Wallace gave The Owl's the lead on the half-hour mark, but a late effort from Jonny Howson followed by another from Ryan Shotton fired them to free points and Howson who inspired the fight-back stated that it was a "test of character" for Boro to comeback and take all the points.
"I think it was a test of character for us today," he said to the club's website. "With recent performances and the position we're in."
"The lads gave it everything," the former Norwich City man stated. "And we're really pleased to get the win with a gutsy performance as well."
"It's nice to get off the mark," the midfielder stated on his first Boro goal. "Even if it probably took longer than I expected."
"But it started the comeback," Howson concluded. "And it's always nice to score in a winning side."