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Page last updated at 15:15 GMT, Tuesday, 13 April 2010 16:15 UK

No pressure to sell, but wage bill must fall - Strachan


Strachan has 'learned to live better' with football management

Middlesbrough manager Gordon Strachan admits he must cut the club's wage bill over the summer.

Despite still having an outside chance of reaching the play-offs, Boro have struggled for consistency after being among the favourites for promotion.

"I don't think I'll be under pressure to sell players [over the summer]," Strachan told BBC Late Kick Off North East and Cumbria.

"But we must cut the wage bill. I had to do that at Celtic."

Strachan also believes the early season performances of former player Adam Johnson masked the true extent of the problems facing Middlesbrough.

Johnson moved to Manchester City in January after scoring 11 goals in 26 league games.

"At the beginning of the season we had Adam Johnson on fire," Strachan said. "It's been a disappointing season, but without Adam it's a shocking season.

Boro remain in sight of the play-offs despite Johnson's departure, with just four points and two places separating them from the top six.

However despite the hunger of chairman Steve Gibson and his own ambitions for promotion this season, Strachan now expects to mount a challenge next season, when there is more stability within the club.

Strachan added: "We're all disappointed, I hope the players are disappointed.

"But you sometimes have to wait for things in life. The fact is we've got seven or eight players who've got their contracts coming up, and about eight players on loan this year, and when you've got that in the dressing room it's hard to create camaraderie. It's a 'we' thing."

If you can spend four years as the Glasgow Celtic manager, then you can be the prime minister with ease

Gordon Strachan

Having spent his early club career in his native Scotland with Dundee and Aberdeen, Strachan spent the latter part of his playing career in the English leagues with teams such as Manchester United and Leeds, and also embarked on his first managerial posts south of the border.

Success with Coventry and Southampton prompted a move to the Scottish giants Celtic, where he spent four seasons, winning three Scottish titles and taking the club into the Champions League knock-out stages.

Strachan believes his spell as manager at Celtic has prepared him for any pressures in football management.

"I've learned to live better with football management," Strachan said.

"If you can spend four years as the Glasgow Celtic manager, you can be the prime minister with ease."

Strachan was appointed Middlesbrough manager in October 2009, following the departure of former boss Gareth Southgate.

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