NEIL WARNOCK has admitted he could not resist when Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson asked him to drag the club out of relegation trouble.

The 71-year-old was drafted in to replace the sacked Jonathan Woodgate earlier today with Boro sitting just above the Championship drop zone on goal difference with eight games remaining.

Speaking as he was unveiled at a press conference staged on Zoom, the former Cardiff boss said when asked why he had accepted the challenge: "Really it was Steve, the chairman, who rang me and asked me if I could help out. He just wanted to change things for the run-in.

"I have always got on really well with him, I've always liked him. He's one of the best owners and the club itself, I've always enjoyed playing against them - I don't think I've lost against them yet.

"When he rings you and asks you that, I'd more or less retired, I think, in my mind, but I thought, 'What an opportunity, eight games without anybody booing me!'.

Warnock, who will be assisted by long-time allies Kevin Blackwell and Ronnie Jepson, has eight promotions to his name as a manager, but also guided Rotherham away from the Championship trapdoor in 2016 courtesy of a remarkable 11-game unbeaten run.

He said: "We're down there for a reason, you can't pull any punches. Big clubs have gone down before, so it's a really precarious position. But having said that, we've got eight games and some cracking games in that.

"The first session today, I'm very, very pleased with how that's gone, so it's trying to get the results that will keep us up. That's all it is for the rest of the season, trying to get enough points."