TONY PULIS has suggested that the worst transfer window “the football club has ever had” before he took on the job at the Riverside has played an enormous part in Middlesbrough’s slump to the Championship relegation zone.

Boro head to Charlton on Saturday desperate for a lift to climb out of the bottom three with just ten matches remaining.

The threat of League One football is something new to Teesside after Middlesbrough finished fifth and seventh under Pulis following relegation from the Premier League.

The Welshman took over from Garry Monk in December 2017 after a summer when Gibson backed the young boss to the tune of around £50m in the transfer market. There were also costly deals in the January before dropping out of the top-flight that has taken its toll.

And Pulis told BBC Five Live: “Recruitment is everything. The window Middlesbrough had before I joined was probably the most disastrous one that the football club have ever had.

“It takes two or three years for a club to recover from that kind of window.

“If you have a bad window and bring in players who have not performed and they are on enormous amounts of money, who else is going to take them?

“The other thing is that you have to balance is are you going to get your money back if you do sell them?

“Football clubs are run as a business as well and chairmen look at these players and think ‘we are not going to sell him for half the price we paid for him’ after just 12 months.

“Then you think ‘the kid hasn’t shown it in the first year but he might show it in the next’ and then you get yourself in a whirlwind. It is very dangerous when you get caught in it.”

Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson suggested earlier this week that head coach Jonathan Woodgate is not to blame for the position the club finds itself this season – citing other problems that need eradicating.

Gibson had a good relationship with Pulis who repeatedly bemoaned over-spending before his arrival for struggling to lift Middlesbrough back into the top-flight.

But the former Stoke manager left last summer at the end of his contract and Woodgate was appointed.