Middlesbrough appointed Gordon Strachan as manager Monday to spearhead the team’s attempt to return to the Premier League.
The 52-year-old Strachan has been without a job since quitting Scottish side Celtic at the end of last season, when Boro was relegated from the top flight of English football.
Article continues below ...
“I don’t need to be here and I don’t have to be here,” Strachan said. “I’m here because I want to be here. When I left Celtic, I told them it would be very difficult to retrace my steps and the excitement that went with Celtic.
“I felt it had to be something different. I never said bigger or better. This is something different.”
Strachan signed a four-year contract with the League Championship club, which had been strongly linked with the former Southampton manager since firing Gareth Southgate last week.
Chairman Steve Gibson had stuck with Southgate despite relegation having given the former England defender his first managerial position. He started looking for a successor to Southgate three weeks before firing him.
Strachan is the first experienced manager to be brought in by Gibson, who has also hired Steve McClaren and Bryan Robson.
The former Scotland midfielder led Celtic to three straight league titles and three more trophies, but ended his four-year spell when he narrowly failed to win the championship again.
“I know the chairman. I know you get money and I know you get time,” Strachan said. “These things attracted me to the job.”
Strachan met with the Middlesbrough players Monday morning and said he had yet to think about whether he needed to strengthen the team in the January transfer window.
He said he first saw Boro play this season five or six weeks ago when he took his grandson to see the team at Coventry, which is one of his former clubs and his grandson’s local team.
First-team coach Colin Cooper was in temporary charge as Middlesbrough drew 2-2 with Preston on Saturday that left the northeast England team fourth in the second-tier standings.