Steve Agnew determined to show his managerial credentials at Middlesbrough

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"I see myself as a creative coach and I know I'm capable of drip-feeding my ideas into the group", said the Yorkshireman, now in his third stint at Boro, having also coached at Leeds, Hartlepool and Hull following a playing career encompassing Barnsley, Blackburn, Leicester and Sunderland.

"But I keep using the word "confident", and I do believe we'll stay in the Premier League".

Head coach Karanka left Boro, who sit in 19th place in the Premier League table, on Thursday.

Boro chairman Steve Gibson insisted that the decision was a mutual one and said the former defender would be "relieved" to be given a break after a tempestuous three and a half years at the club, in which he has clashed with senior players and members of the board on more than one occasion.

Agnew also denied there had been a rift between Karanka and the players, including a reported training ground row with Stewart Downing, adding his side are "the best group of players I've worked with in terms of their attitude".

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Jose Mourinho has sarcastically criticised Boro's decision to sack Aitor Karanka.

Mourinho would not name names, but it is clear that he feels that the Middlesbrough players pushed Karanka out of the club. "I think, in the fourth year, he deserves to be sacked".

'In the second year, he took the team to Wembley to play the play-off final. "He was "Get on with it, enjoy it and organise the team for the weekend", and that's as much as I wanted to hear", said Agnew.

"Steve could be a surprise number one".

Former Scotland striker Joe Jordan has joined Middlesbrough's coaching staff to assist interim boss Agnew.