Steve Agnew says Middlesbrough are "more than capable" of winning matches despite United loss

Steve Agnew praised his side's efforts during the 3-1 defeat to Manchester United.

Steve Agnew says Middlesbrough are "more than capable" of winning matches despite United loss
Above: Steve Agnew during the 3-1 defeat to Middlesbrough | Photo: Getty Images/ Stu Forster

Middlesbrough's temporary manager Steve Agnew believes that Boro are "more than capable" of winning matches in their fight for Premier League survival after Sunday's 3-1 defeat to Manchester United.

Have more than enough

It has been far from the return to the top-flight that the Teesside club would have envisaged, with the club failing to win in their last ten league matches going into the clash with Jose Mourinho's men.

Last weekend's 2-0 FA Cup exit to Manchester City proved to be Aitor Karanka's final game on charge, was dismissed with Agnew taking his place with many seeing this clash a write-off.

However Boro more than held their own against the Red Devils despite falling behind to two goals from Marouane Fellaini and Jesse Lingard. They improved immensely as the game went on and pushed things close as Rudy Gestede managed to get one back.

Antonio Valencia made sure of the result right at the death, but Agnew was full of praise for his players and believes that they showed many positives to go forward with.

“To push Manchester United all the way was something that I was really pleased with," Agnew told his post-match press conference. "I thought at 2-0 that’s when the players showed their fighting spirit."

He told the press: "The crowd played a massive part, we deserved the goal and the balance of play at the time. I could only see us, though there wasn’t long to go I could only see us equalising.”

"I think that the performance was intense it was everything you want in terms of commitment, of course we have got to start winning football matches," he conceded. "But I have been in this league before and I know that one game, one win, three points can change everything.”

"I have every confidence and every belief," Agnew added. "All the work that goes in behind the scenes with the staff and the players that we are more than capable of winning football matches."


Been a bit of a whirlwind

It certainly has been a quick turnaround at the Riverside Stadium, with Karanka given the chop after four years of service in the North East.

The dust will be allowed to settle with the imminent international break but the question remains as to who will be in charge come the clash with Swansea City.

Though Agnew stated that he has enjoyed taking the main role, he confirmed that he hasn't spoken to the chairman Steven Gibson about taking the job permanently.

"Its not been so much difficult," Agnew said about taking on the role. "It has been a whirlwind if you like but not difficult, I have enjoyed every minute of it."

"Okay we are not in this industry to lose football matches," the coach admitted. "I am not particularly a good loser but when I see a group of players and a stadium of supporters reacting like that together and that gives us loads of optimism for the future.”

Agnew continued: “I have no idea, I mean Manchester United was everything in my mind for the last two or three days and at the minute we have a couple of days off there’s a few players away on international duty and then we will back in preparing for Swansea."

"I have not had a conversation with the chairman," the 51-year-old revealed. "I'll I think about it  like I have for the Manchester United [game] is Swansea but I have a little bit more time to think about it."