Agnew sees a change under Strachan
MIDDLESBROUGH first team coach Steve Agnew has reassured supporters they can look forward to seeing the influence of a man he has dubbed one of the finest midfielders of his generation. Agnew recalls facing Gordon Strachan in their playing days and admitted his new boss was a daunting opponent on the pitch. Since Strachan's arrival on Teesside, Agnew has been happy to note he operates a more hands-on approach to coaching than his predecessor Gareth Southgate, and fully expects the new manager's ideals of playing stylish football will help make Boro the Championship's entertainers. Everything we have done on the training pitch has epitomised the manager's ethos, noted Agnew. What the manager and (assistant boss) Gary Pendry have brought is experience from the English and Scottish Premier League. And they have managed in the Champions League so the ideas and the coaching they have brought in has been very, very good. Both Colin (Cooper) and I have enjoyed working with them. I played against Gordon when I was at Barnsley and he was in the Leeds team that ended up winning the old second division what we now call the Championship. He was one of the finest midfielders of his generation and he's taken his beliefs into his career as a manger. He wants the game to be played like he played it, with bags of enthusiasm, the ability to pass and move and a winning mentality. The results have been disappointing but I can reassure supporters that things will come good on the pitch. Boro dominated affairs in terms of possession and attempts on goal against Crystal Palace and Plymouth Argyle but weak finishing ensured that Strachan's Boro tenure begin with a whimper. Agnew revealed that developing a ruthlessness in front of goal has become a priority on the training pitch. From now until the Forest game we will be working on finishing,'' he revealed. The players may find it repetitive but that is just tough, it has to be done until the chances go in. Strachan's defensive options have been boosted by the return of Chris Riggott who continued his rehabilitation by playing 90 minutes of yesterday's reserve team 3-0 win over Lincoln City. But Emanuel Pogatetz has been unable to return to full training and will soon be sporting a protective mask to prevent further damage to his fractured cheekbone. Agnew said: He's been fitted for a face mask and once that's on and he gets the nod to join in games he'll be challenging for a return. He's been jogging and everything's healed but he can't have any contact. The good thing is that when he comes in he'll be physically fit but that is up to the medical people. Poggie's mentality towards any injury is how quick can he get back so I'm sure it will be sooner rather than later. The young players respond to having an experienced player and the likes of Emanuel and Chris coming back will give us the blend we need. Marvin Emnes, Andrew Taylor and Mark Yeates scored in yesterday's win.
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