TONY PULIS will sit down with Steve Gibson in the next couple of days to discuss his Middlesbrough future, having claimed the club’s failure to make the play-offs came despite him having given the job “everything he has got”.

Boro’s hopes of securing a play-off spot were dashed when Derby County scored two goals in the space of three second-half minutes to seal a 3-1 win over West Brom and claim sixth position.

Derby’s victory rendered Boro’s result at Rotherham United irrelevant, and while the Teessiders kept up their end of the bargain with a 2-1 win that came courtesy of first-half goals from Britt Assombalonga and John Obi Mikel, the mood at the final whistle was one of glum despondency.

While Middlesbrough’s players acknowledged the support of the fans, Pulis headed down the tunnel, and it remains to be seen whether his handshake with Rotherham boss Paul Warne was the final act of his 18-month Riverside reign.

His contract is due to expire next month, and while there is a clause that would result in an automatic one-year extension if all parties were to agree, Pulis has consistently refused to commit himself to an extended stay.

He did not shift that stance on Sunday, and while there is still a chance he could remain in his current position, a departure might be best for all involved. It would enable Pulis to return to his family home on the south coast, and would avoid an acrimonious response from a fanbase that has become increasingly unhappy with the 61-year-old’s management this season.

While Pulis has addressed some of the financial problems he inherited when he took over from Garry Monk, performances on the pitch have been largely underwhelming, culminating in a final table that shows Boro having missed out on a play-off place by a single point.

“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,” said Pulis. “I’m not saying anything until I’ve spoken to Steve. The most important thing, and I think he knows it, is that I’ve given it everything I’ve got. That’s what I’ve always done in all my managerial career. Let’s talk about it, and see how things go.

“I’m not really putting a timescale on things, I’ll wait for Steve to give me a ring. He’s a wonderful man. I’ve got great respect for him, and a great relationship with him.”

Having missed out on promotion for two successive seasons, it is possible to portray Pulis’ 18-month spell in charge as a failure.

The Welshman would counter that by pointing to the financial policy he has been forced to enact, with Boro’s wage bill having come down significantly on Pulis’ watch. Player sales have produced a net profit of around £40m, plugging a gap that might otherwise have prevented Boro from falling within the parameters of the Football League’s Financial Fair Play regulations.

“Financially, I think Steve will be pleased with what we’ve done over the 18 months,” said Pulis. “I think if you look at the players who have left the club and the players we’ve brought in, there’s a big balance for us in respect of profit, which needed to happen.

“The wage bill needed to be sorted out as well, and that’s been part of my remit. I don’t mind that, although supporters will always want the result on a Saturday. They come to see the front of the house, they come to see the show, they don’t realise that at times, the building is maybe falling down behind.

“That doesn’t bother me. I’m too long in the tooth to worry about what people say and what they don’t say. Steve’s paid me to get a grip of the football club, and I’ve tried to do that, not in a selfish way, but in a way that helps this football club.”

With Boro’s parachute payments having ended, yesterday’s game could well mark the end of the road for a number of players.

Stewart Downing’s second spell at his hometown club is drawing to an end, with his contract due to expire next month. Mikel is also due to become a free agent, having signed a short-term deal when he pitched up on Teesside in January, and neither Mo Besic nor Jordan Hugill are expected to be offered a permanent contract once their loan spells expire.

“We haven’t discussed players’ futures because we were hoping and praying to be coming out of this ground today in the play-offs,” said Pulis. “That’s been the overriding thing.”

Mikel was the only player to speak publicly about his future in the aftermath of the game, and the Nigerian suggested he could opt to head elsewhere.

“We’ll have a conversation with my people and see what comes up,” said the midfielder. “I have a few options here and there, there's a lot of options, you always have to pick the right one and the way you play and what you want to achieve,

“I still want to win trophies, I'll go somewhere where the players, the teams, the fan, the staff, want to win.”