Curtis Fleming explains why chance of Middlesbrough return was too good to turn down

Curtis Fleming is back at Middlesbrough.
Curtis Fleming is back at Middlesbrough.

Curtis Fleming admits the chance of a return to Middlesbrough was too good an opportunity to turn down and says he wouldn't have left QPR for any other club.

The 49-year-old has returned to Boro after being appointed first team coach under Tony Pulis.

Fleming has a strong connection with the club having made 266 league appearances for Boro during a decade on Teesside before leaving in 2001.

He was appointed Ian Holloway's assistant at QPR in December 2016 and has also previously coached at Hartlepool United, Livingston, Bolton and Crystal Palace.

Now he is back at Boro working with the first team, with the chance to return too good to turn down.

"I don’t think I would have left for any other club," said Fleming.

"It doesn’t matter what position QPR were in, I really enjoyed working with Ian Holloway.

"He’s a great guy, good people around the club like Boro and a lot of people have been there for a lot of years and have a real affinity with the club and it was a great place and a great working environment.

"But to get the chance to come back to this club, I had the chance a few years ago to do it and I didn’t do it out of loyalty because I promised to someone I would stay and I passed up on that chance.

"Ian Holloway sent me with his blessings, he’s good friends with Tony [Pulis] and I spoke to the chairman, too, who I know quite well and it just fit fantastically well for me.

"But the chance to come back to this club - you’ve got to grab it with two hands.

"It's a great chance to work with a very, very good manager."

Fleming is a popular figure at Middlesbrough and he is determined to grasp the opportunity under Pulis with both hands.

"I wasn't the most talented but spent 10 years here at Boro because I gave my all. I do the same as a coach, I work very hard.

"I enjoy coaching, the chance to come back here, I put the badge back on and it seemed right," added Fleming.

Pulis replaced Garry Monk in the Boro dugout on Boxing Day after a disappointing start to the Championship season, with Boro aiming for instant promotion back to the Premier League following relegation last summer.

Fleming added: "There is not a lot of stability around many clubs but we have one of the most stable chairman in the country, if not Europe and the world.

"If changes are made they are for the right reasons, they are not knee-jerk. I have only been here a few days but the atmosphere is great, the lads are working hard.

"They can see what the manager wants," he told the Boro website.