Neil Warnock has said that his top priority is ‘getting the people out who he wants to get rid of’.
The Middlesbrough manager faces a huge challenge in the coming weeks as attention starts to turn to the summer transfer window with the club plotting a rebuild of the playing squad.
Several players are out of contract this summer while others appear to be set for a move away from the club, with such uncertainty over futures seemingly having an impact on results on the pitch.
But while recent results have been disappointing Warnock says that his main focus is on ensure that his squad is pulling in the same direction come pre-season.
As quoted by Teesside Live, Warnock said: “It’s not that important (to finish top half), it’s more important that I get the people out who I want to get rid of. It shows you what a good job we have done really. To be disappointed not to have got in the play-offs shows how well we have done really.
“I bet there are plenty who think this job is easy. It is not an easy job. It is probably going to be my biggest challenge to get success from where I am. I think it’s doable. I just have to work really hard, have a bit of luck with recruitment.
“We have to get ready for July. It can’t come quick enough really. You have seen today you can’t fault some of the effort but I can’t understand when you are losing the game why you take a short corner kick for instance. I don’t understand being offside when you are wide, looking across. There are a lot of things I don’t understand.
“You get that at clubs. You get little cliques at clubs. As a manager you know they are there. I am sure if you spoke to two or three they will say I was the problem. Because they blame everyone else don’t they? That’s natural for footballers. I am not the problem. I have to solve the problem.”
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There’s a real feeling of disharmony in the Middlesbrough camp at the moment.
There was always going to be a certain amount of division given the players who are out of contract and that seems to be impacting results.
Neil Warnock is a strong character and so it’s essential that he does the right thing for the club and the playing squad to ensure that the team are well-equipped going into next season.