Chris Wilder opens up on talks with Steve Gibson and Middlesbrough’s Premier League ambition
Chris Wilder says Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson still has a huge appetite to get the club promoted to the Premier League and will do whatever it takes to get there.
Wilder was appointed Boro boss last week as he replaced Neil Warnock at the Riverside, with the club sitting 14th in the Championship.
After leaving Sheffield United last season, Wilder, 54, has received other offers to return to management but felt Boro’s approach matched his ambition.
That decision came following a positive conversation with Gibson, a lifelong supporter of the club.
When asked what attracted him to Boro, Wilder said: “Historically, the ambition of the owner after being in the game a long time and having success in the Premier League, it’s a difficult gig being an owner of a football club.
“It ticks a lot of boxes for me from the facilities, the fan base, the ambition of the owner, the current group of players and where the club wants to take the team.
“I’ve met with the owner and that was interesting because you go into that meeting thinking how is the owner going to be because he’s had incredible success in terms of where Middlesbrough were when they were shutting the gates to getting to a UEFA Cup final and being regulars in the Premier League.”
Boro were relegated from the Premier League in 2009 after 11 consecutive years in the top flight.
The club won promotion from the Championship in 2016 but went straight back down the following season.
“Unfortunately they have come out of there and dipping in and then coming out again and not quite managing to have the success they should be having, you wonder what his appetite for it all is,” added Wilder when discussing his conversation with Gibson.
“I have to say he was incredibly positive and eager and ambitious to get back into the big time.
"I have had a small taste of it and know how tough the Championship is and love the Championship, but being in that big league is the place to be and he wants to get back in there and will do whatever he can.
“We will all do whatever we can to get back in there.”