GARRY MONK agreed to take over at Middlesbrough knowing anything less than promotion will be regarded as a failure next season – but the ambitious young manager insists he wouldn’t have it any other way.

Monk might have signed a three-year contract when he agreed to take over at the Riverside last week, but chairman Steve Gibson is targeting a return to the Premier League within the next 12 months as he looks to get his club back on track following last season’s relegation.

The pressure will be intense from the moment the new Championship season begins, but while Monk claims it is impossible to take anything for granted in a league as relentlessly competitive as English football’s second tier, he is happy to have a huge weight of expectation on his shoulders.

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“It’s fine,” said the new Boro boss, who was formally presented to the media for the first time on Monday. “I’ve worked under pressure before. I think in football now, every job for a manager is about pressure.

“But we know what the task is. Obviously, we want to win games, but that is no different to any other club.

“After a disappointing season, it is my job to give confidence to the club. We want to come back strong, come back fighting and be very competitive. We want to get on with that.”

Boro’s players are due to return for the start of pre-season training before the end of the month, and Monk will spend the next two weeks assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the squad he has taken over.

There will be money to spend this summer, and there is a clear need for at least one goalkeeper to replace departed duo Victor Valdes and Brad Guzan and a striker to plug the gap left by Alvaro Negredo, who has returned to Valencia following the end of his loan.

A number of players are also expected to depart, but Monk does not foresee largescale changes, and is impressed by the resources at his disposal despite Boro’s struggles in the top-flight last term.

“We need to start working with the squad, assessing what the strengths are and then take it from there,” he said. “I’m very excited to be working with the players and the squad. There is a lot of quality here, a talented squad and a good squad.

“Over the next couple of weeks, I will assess where we are and what we need and how we take it forward. On the football side I’m very clear about what I need to do. There is a clear way to try to get to the Premier League.

“After relegation it feels like a big disappointment at the moment, but we need to get refocused and ready to go again.”

During his time at Swansea City, Monk developed a reputation for encouraging an attractive, possession-based style characterised by ball retention and high pressing.

He adapted his philosophy slightly at Leeds United, with his players tending to be more direct as they looked to utilise the strengths of leading goalscorer, Chris Wood, but he was still keen to see his side on the front foot, looking to take the game to the opposition.

A hands-on coach who has been keen to embrace the technological advances that have helped revolutionise football coaching in the last few years, he places a large amount of emphasis on data analysis and being as innovative as possible on the training ground. Ultimately, though, he accepts that after a difficult 12 months, the most crucial thing is to get Middlesbrough winning again.

“There are certain things and principles I like to follow,” he said. “In terms of style, people talk about philosophies and stuff, but for me it starts with needing to win games.

“I’m looking forward to getting down to training. I need to get the players to understand and engage with that, and be happy with it. I’m excited to work with the players, and for the challenge ahead, and I can’t wait to get started.”