'In some ways it's better than last year': Tony Pulis discusses Middlesbrough future, play-off disappointment and Rotherham win
Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis once again highlighted the club's financial situation after missing out on the Championship play-offs.
Boro recorded a 2-1 victory over Rotherham on the final day of the regular league campaign, their fifth win in six matches courtesy of goals from Britt Assombalonga and John Obi Mikel.
Yet Derby's 3-1 win over West Brom meant Boro finished a point outside the top six, despite occupying a play-off spot for most of the campaign.
Pulis, though, doesn't think the season has been a complete disaster, and believes the club are in a better position to kick on off the field.
"In some ways, I said to the players, you can even look at it as a better achievement than last year because we've worked our socks off behind the scenes to try and put finances in a much better position than what they were," Pulis told MFC.com.
"People don't understand and don't respect what's going on at the back of the house, that's all they see is the front of the house, they see the show and if you're not winning and not doing well you'll get criticised, I understand that.
"But we've done a lot of good work behind the scenes to make sure this club is stable financially and as I've said there are certain things at the football club that they've got to get in their heads."
Pulis took charge of Boro in December 2017 and has been full of praise for the area, despite the boss receiving criticism from fans in recent months.
After the Rotherham game, Pulis, who is out of contract in the summer, once again praised the people of Teesside but remained tight-lipped on his future.
"I've been astonished by the fact that people think you have to pay players more money to come up to the North East, it's a fabulous area, the people are absolutely fantastic and if they're coming they're coming for the money, not for the right reasons," said Pulis.
"I just find that extraordinary, that's one of the main things when I speak to Steve (Gibson) and the people in control of the football club.
"This club deserves people who want come and play for it and are not coming for the money."
On his future, Pulis added: “I’m hoping Steve is going to buy me a nice bottle of red wine, and then we can sit down and have a chat about things. I’m not saying anything until I’ve spoken to Steve.
Boro led for most of the afternoon against Rotherham after Assombalonga opened the scoring in the 28th minute.
Mikel doubled Boro's lead nine minutes later before Michael Smith converted a late penalty for the hosts.
On the Rotherham performance, Pulis said: “We played well first half. Again, I thought we missed a lot of chances to make it more than two. Second half we dropped off a little bit.
"The crowd were going up and then down and I think that affected the game a little bit, and affected us maybe.
"We’re desperately disappointed – to win five out of your last six games and not get in is a disappointment. They’ve shown good courage and commitment over that period."