Garry Monk: Middlesbrough boss ready for Championship promotion pressure
Middlesbrough's bid to return to the Premier League at the first attempt is the absolute priority for new manager Garry Monk.
The 38-year-old has succeeded Steve Agnew at the Riverside following Boro's relegation to the Championship.
He just missed out on the play-offs with fellow Championship side Leeds last term, before leaving last month.
"There's no denying the ambition is to get back to the Premier League this season." Monk told BBC Tees.
"But we have to remind ourselves there are a lot of clubs thinking on the same lines, to get to the Premier League you have to compete in an extremely competitive league.
"It shows how difficult it is, the track record of teams that come down, last season of the three only one went back up.
"It's challenge that we're looking forward to on the back of a difficult season, it's important that everyone resets and gets the enjoyment and confidence back and we move forward together."
It took Middlesbrough seven years to regain their top-flight status the last time they went down to the Championship, securing automatic promotion under Aitor Karanka two seasons ago.
Philosophy of football
After a decent career as a centre-half predominantly with Swansea City, who he helped climb from the fourth-tier to the Premier League, Monk has become a man in demand in management.
He was in charge of Swansea in the Premier League, achieving home and away victories against Manchester United and Arsenal en route to an eighth-place finish in 2014-15.
With Leeds he turned a team in turmoil into play-off hopefuls in one season, but having been in the top six for an extended period, a run of only win in eight games at the end of the season saw them finish seventh.
At Boro, his first challenge will be to impress his philosophy on a new group of players.
"There will be many different things to be understood and put in place, to help the players, but you can't never get away from hard work," Monk said.
"Hard work is the bedrock and this club has been successful at that, they had a good project to get them up to the Premier League.
"Then there was a disappointing season but there's no reason we can't get back there if we get the right attitude and the right way of working."
The lure of stablility
Monk has now joined a club that prides itself on giving managers time.
Steve Gibson has been chairman since 1994, and since Bryan Robson ended his seven-year spell in charge in 2000, there have only been seven permanent managers at Boro in the past 17 years.
"It's always been a fantastic club, extremely well run and the recent history of the club they've achieved a lot," Monk continued.
"There's been Premier League football, cups and that way of working has been clever to achieve the things they had.
"One of the tick-boxes in terms of working with Steve and this club is they have a track record of stability and calmness.
"Of course there's still the demand to achieve and that's the bit I put on myself anyway but that stability that clarity and that process attracted me to Middlesbrough."