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Editor of the Boro fanzine Rob Nicholls
"It's always sad, the end of an era"
 real 14k

Bryan Robson
"Seven years is a long time at one club, for any manager"
 real 56k

Middlesborough chairman Steve Gibson
"Sometimes, things have to change"
 real 56k

Tuesday, 5 June, 2001, 10:46 GMT 11:46 UK
Robson leaves Middlesbrough
Bryan Robson at the press conference
Robson has quit the club by mutual consent
Bryan Robson's seven-year reign as Middlesbrough manager is over.

Robson and his assistant Viv Anderson have left The Riverside "by mutual consent".

No replacement has been revealed, though Manchester United assistant boss Steve McClaren remains the hot favourite for the post.

Chairman Steve Gibson confirmed the decision at a press conference.

Boro chairman Stev Gibson
Gibson praised Robson's contribution

He said: "We both concluded that Bryan leaving the club was the best option for the club.

"There were a lot of hard decisions to be made and they were made for lots of different reasons but we have mutually agreed that he is leaving.

"Bryan has been a giant figure at this club and he leaves a true legacy.

"But Bryan believed that anyone else coming in would not want him around and he is right. Football is like that."

  Bryan Robson's Boro career
June 1994 - Leaves Manchester United after 13 years and joins Middlesbrough as player-manager.
May 1995 - Middlesbrough win promotion to the Premiership
January 1997 - Makes last appearance as a player
1997 - Guides Boro to the League and FA Cup finals, but the team lose both
1997 - Boro are relegated from the Premiership
1998 - Defeat in League Cup is tempered by promotion back to the Premiership
Dec 2000 - Takes a back-seat role as Terry Venables joins Middlesbrough as head coach
June 2001 - Robson and assistant Viv Anderson leave Middlesbrough

McClaren is expected to be named as Robson's replacement at the weekend.

Gibson said: "There has been alot of speculation about Steve McClaren and I have spoken to him several times in the last week or so.

"Steve is away in the US on holiday at the moment and nothing is concluded but we hope to offer some news at the weekend."

Terry Venables' position at the club is still unclear, but Gibson said that coach Gordon McQueen is "still part of the club's plans".

Robson's position has been under increasing pressure ever since Venables was brought in early last season to assist the manager.

The pair combined to stave off the threat of relegation, but when Gibson failed to persuade Venables to stay on in a full-time capacity, the pressure was back on Robson.

"I have had a terrific seven years here and the chairman and chief executive are as good as any manager in the country will get.

"At one stage I had an interview with Wolverhampton Wanderers, who wanted the same things as Middlesbrough.

"I look at where Wolves are now and where Middlesbrough are and I like to think I have had some success."

Bryan's legacy will live long at the club
  Steve Gibson

"When I first arrived, the goal was to get promotion. We achieved that in our first season and things progressed quickly after that."

Gibson also pointed to the impact Robson has had on the club's financial standing.

"Bryan brought his own style and charisma to the club.

"We had never gone beyond the sixth round of the FA Cup or the semi-finals of the league cup and we were regarded very much as a yo-yo club.

"Bryan took us beyond the sixth round to the final of the FA Cup and then beyond the semi-finals of the League Cup and into the final twice.

"We had five years as a Premiership club and two seasons outside, during which we won the First Division championship and won automatic promotion.

"The average crowds were 10,000 prior to Bryan's arrival and they are now 35,000.

"Bryan's legacy will live long at the club."

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See also:

05 Jun 01 |  Eng Prem
McClaren: The thinking man's coach
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