Meanwhile, Steve Agnew insists he can fill the void left by the sacking of Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka.
The club’s assistant manager has stepped in as caretaker after the Spaniard’s stormy three-and-a-half year reign was brought to an end with the Teessiders second-bottom of the Premier League and in danger of an immediate return to the Championship.
The 51-year-old will be given an opportunity to prove himself until the end of the season, and has brought experienced former Scotland international Joe Jordan in as his number two.
Middlesbrough are assessing other potential candidates to succeed Karanka on a permanent basis, but Agnew says the club need look no further than him to lead a successful survival fight and to lay the foundations for a brighter future.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” he said. “I have had opportunities in the past but it didn’t feel quite right.
“I owe a lot to Middlesbrough, and to be given a chance is everything you need but then you have to grasp it.
“It’s a massive opportunity and it’s one I’m really looking forward to.”
Stewart Downing, the former England midfielder whose training ground bust-up with Karanka proved to be the final straw for the departed head coach, is likely to be restored to the side as Middlesbrough look to end a three-month stretch without a league victory.