Boro eye promotion with Pulis

Middlesbrough are firmly focused on promotion after confirming the appointment of Tony Pulis.

Boro axed Garry Monk just before Christmas, despite a win at Sheffield Wednesday – as chairman Steve Gibson has lost faith that the former Swansea man could get Boro up.

Gibson dropped the axe on Monk and was quick to make contact with Pulis and the appointment was confirmed on Boxing Day.

Boro chairman Steve Gibson said: “We’re delighted to appoint Tony as our new manager. His experience and knowledge speaks for itself and he has a tremendous track record.

“We’re excited by this appointment and by what Tony can bring to this football club. There was strong interest from two other clubs, and we’re delighted Tony has decided to join us.

“There’s no disguising that 2017 has not been a happy year for any of us, but we’ve refocused and we’re looking forward to the future.”

The club’s new manager said: “I wanted a challenge – a real challenge – and this reminds me so much of Stoke when I went there with Peter Coates. 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 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, and I can assess everything.”

Pulis is now tasked with getting Boro, who were relegated from the Premier League last season, promoted at the first-time of asking.

Bookmakers have already seen some movement in the Championship promotion market and Boro are into 5/1.

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