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Terry Venables
"There is no one person who is going to be upfront here."
 real 14k

Bryan Robson
"I hope it gives the fans and staff a lift."
 real 14k

'Boro captain Paul Ince
"We thought it was old news, that it wasn't going to happen"
 real 14k

Tuesday, 5 December, 2000, 10:25 GMT
Robson hopes Venables stays
Bryan Robson
Robson's agony is over for the time being
Middlesbrough manager Bryan Robson has just one regret over the appointment of Terry Venables as Middlesbrough coach - that is only for six months.

Robson said: "I hoped it would be a bit longer for Terry. That can't happen. But we'd sooner have the six months than none at all.

"I'm happy he's come in for the short term and hopefully if he's successful it will be longer."

Venables is to coach the team until the end of the season. Robson keeps the title of manager but will no longer pick the team.

Middlesbrough have resurrected a deal with the former England coach that appeared to be dead over the weekend.

The stumbling block had been Venables' TV commitments, but Middlesbrough have agreed to take him on a shorter-term basis than they originally wanted.

No one is under any illusions; it's a big challenge and we will have to get stuck into it
  Terry Venables

Venables said that after the talks broke down, Middlesbrough had been planning to bring in someone to help Robson with the coaching. If they were going to do that, he had said, it should be him.

He said that his first job would be to rebuild the players' confidence. It has been shattered after nine straight matches without a win. The club is lying joint bottom in the Premiership.

Venables said: "We've got to get everyone up and feeling good about themselves again. Every team in the Premiership has quality players, but things happen along the way that dent your confidence.

"Confidence can take you anywhere and that is what we have to rebuild."

Step back

Robson believes Venables can provide the boost that is required: "We need Terry to come in with a few fresh ideas. Hopefully this will give the players the lift that everyone needs around the club."

Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson, who has been steadfast in his support for Robson, said: "This will give Bryan a chance to catch his breath, take a step back and come back in the summer refreshed."

Terry Venables
Venables will soon be back on the touchline

Venables was careful not to say whether he thought he could ensure the club could stay up in the Premiership.

Venables said: "I don't know if mouth-watering is the right phrase. It's a tough job ahead. No one is under any illusions. It's a big challenge and we will have to get stuck into it."

And there was no confirmation as to whether Venables would be prepared to stay on at Middlesbrough beyond the end of the season.

Gibson said: "Forget about the long-term, we've got to secure the short term. We aren't looking any longer than the next six months.

"We want to keep this club in the Premiership. If we achieve that, we'll have a party, and then we'll talk about the future."

Learning experience

Both Venables and Robson said they hoped to resurrect the effective working relationship they had established when Venables was England manager and Robson his assistant.

"It worked very well when I was with Terry with England," Robson said, "and if it's good enough for England it's good enough for Middlesbrough. Bringing success to Middlesbrough is the most important thing."

Venables, who will not start work until Friday, will be in charge of team selection.

"It will take me a good four to six weeks to assess players," he said. "I'll have to lean on Bryan very heavily for that."

Robson added that he hoped to learn from Venables' experience. "There is no one better to learn from than Terry."

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Terry VenablesBoro's new coach
Venables & Robson together again
See also:

04 Dec 00 |  Football
Return of flawed messiah
03 Dec 00 |  Middlesbrough
Conference call hints at Venables U-turn
01 Dec 00 |  Middlesbrough
Boro withdraw Venables offer
21 Nov 00 |  Middlesbrough
Robson admits 'pressure is on'
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