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It’s not all about me, insists under-pressure Middlesbrough boss Garry Monk

Middlesbrough manager Garry Monk.
Middlesbrough manager Garry Monk.

Middlesbrough manager Garry Monk has shrugged off the pressure he is under and says his focus is only on the players.

Boro ended a run of two successive defeats at the weekend by grabbing a vital victory against Ipswich Town.

The 2-0 success lifted some of the gloom on Teesside, and moved Boro to within five points of the Championship play-offs.

Monk has come under fire from sections of the Middlesbrough faithful after recent results, inluding defeats against promotion rivals Derby County and Bristol City, but Monk says the only pride he took from the win over Ipswich was for his players.

“It’s not about me, my job is to help the players and to help this club,” the 38-year-old said.

“I was just happy for the players for the response and to get the result. Outside influences in terms of the pressure they talk about, I don’t take any notice of.”

Monk spent big money in the summer on the likes of strikers Britt Assombalonga and Ashley Fletcher, forward Martin Braithwaite and goalkeeper Darren Randolph.

It made Boro one of the bookies’ favourites for promotion, and Monk says the players have been as disappointed as anyone recently that they haven’t performed to the levels they are expected to.

“You expect the highest standards, that’s how it should be,” he added to BBC Tees. “That’s the kind of culture and environment we’re trying to bring into the club.

“They’re very good with it, they’re disappointed when we don’t reach those standards. We expect more from ourselves and (Ipswich) was a step forward to mending that.

“Credit to the players for that, of course I still think there’s more if we can get some momentum and build on this kind of result in the next game.

“I think you’ll see those standards creeping up higher, that’s what we need to do.”