Neil Warnock has admitted that certain players have ‘let him down’ in recent weeks with uncertainty brewing over their futures.
Middlesbrough are gearing up for a big summer in the transfer market with numerous first team players in line to move on at the end of their contracts or loan spells with the club.
That has seemingly led to significant distraction around the club with results on the pitch now suffering as a result of uncertainty off it.
One point from their last five is far from impressive for the Teessiders, and according to Warnock, the focus is now simply to pick up as many decent results as possible between now and the end of the season.
Quoted by Teesside Live, Warnock said: “I do feel let down, obviously.
“When I talked (praised the group) earlier in the season everyone was together, then agents start talking about futures and what they’ve got lined up.
“Things change. Your head gets swayed, you’ve got other things on your mind, and I think it affected some more than others.
“I didn’t really see this coming if I’m honest. I thought they’d give me everything until the end of the season and then move on but it hasn’t worked out like that.
“I’ve been disappointed but not surprised, it happens at every club.”
Warnock added: “It’s really difficult and will be for the next three or four weeks.
“It’s only developed in the last three or four weeks.
“I probably should have made decisions earlier, you do try and keep it all together but it’s just how it is, people are looking to next season. It’s a difficult time for a manager to keep the focus.
“It’s not unusual. This happens at most clubs at this time of year.
“It’s human nature to look after yourself. That’s why I always think players tend to blame the managers or tactics, they don’t look in the mirror and realise they’re to blame for a lot.
“I just have to bite my tongue. I thought I’d done enough to get a result at QPR and still think we did enough to win the game.
“It is hard. We just have to keep going. I want to get as many results as possible. I’d love to finish in the top 10 but at the minute it looks a difficult ask.”
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You do have to sympathise with Neil Warnock here.
The situation at the club is a real problem as such uncertainty over players’ futures is always going to have a negative impact on the camp.
The focus now has to be on pushing towards the end of the season and kicking on to next term.