Neil Warnock is convinced Steve Gibson will back his transfer plans to keep Middlesbrough moving in the right direction.

Warnock was commenting for the first time since it was announced the club had made record £35m losses for the year to June 30, 2020.

The Middlesbrough boss has committed to another year in charge at the Riverside and was happy to do so after talks with chairman Gibson.

But times are harder at Middlesbrough than they have been in the past, not least because of the global pandemic leading to empty stadiums; and an end to Premier League parachute payments on Teesside.

It was also revealed the Gibson O’Neill Company Limited, the parent undertaking of the club, continues to provide support when required. Gibson’s total investment now stands at £205m.

But Warnock is certain there will be no knee-jerk reaction to the news and he is satisfied Gibson will be doing what he can to help.

“I've just read it myself this morning,” said Warnock. “I don't want to hear anybody criticise Steve Gibson while I'm here.

“I don't know many people who would continue to do what he's doing because of his love for the club. He's an amazing man and I'm really proud to be working for him and to get the support I do.

“The fans should feel the same way. It just shows his commitment to the club and boy at this time, do we need it.

“We've cut-back quite a lot and he's happy in that respect. He knows there will be a turnaround in the summer as well. He still wants to support me the best he can and he knows I won't spent stupid money.”

Middlesbrough are still in with an outside chance of promotion back to the Premier League. They sit five points adrift of the play-off zone ahead of this afternoon’s trip to Millwall.

Clearly the riches the top-flight brings would change things, but Warnock believes Middlesbrough will be in a strong enough position to grow again come next season regardless of the division they are in.

“I've got to try to get the best players that are available, hopefully one or two will be on free transfers,” said Warnock. “You can pick good players up, everything has changed with the pandemic.

“The recruitment people know what I'm looking for. We have to come up with some answers.

“Steve is going to support me the best I can. We did get rid of a lot of big hitters last year, there's quite a lot gone there and one or two others have their contracts up. We've just got to try to get to a workable situation, but to do that we have to get the fans back in.”

Two of Middlesbrough’s biggest assets are academy graduates Marcus Tavernier and Dael Fry. Both are firm favourites of Warnock and he is in no mood to cash in on either player.
“I don't think Steve Gibson would sell Dael Fry for any sort of offer,” said Warnock.

“Steve is like me, if I'm managing here he wants me to be successful. He knows Dael Fry is a very important part of that.

“Clubs have had their opportunities in the past and have gone for other players. I've said to Dael, if you think you're going anywhere next year forget it pal, I'm here, you're here.”

While Premier League clubs are keeping an eye on centre-back Fry, Tavernier is known to have been on the radar of top-flight clubs for a couple of years now.

Prior to Warnock’s arrival at the Riverside it is known that Bayer Leverkusen and Liverpool were among those keeping tabs. He has since signed a new deal to keep him at Middlesbrough until 2023.

Warnock said: “I think there will be certain interest in Tav from the Premier League this summer depending on who gets promoted as well from the Championship.
“All the players know my situation, that I'm here next year, and they all know it would need to be an unbelievable offer that gets anybody out of here, because if I'm here they're here. Tavernier is a very important player in my plans for next season.

“I had a chat with him about two months ago and I told him that I had decided to stay and that he wouldn't be going anywhere, and he said 'gaffer, I don't want to go anywhere, I'm loving every minute'. I can't ask anymore than that can I?”

But Warnock, who expects Paddy McNair to be available at Millwall, is certain Tavernier has a huge future ahead of him.

He added: “I think he'll be playing in the Premier League not the season coming but the season after. You don't know who with, but I think he will be playing in the Premier League that season.

"You don't get into the Premier League with just enthusiasm, you get into the Premier League with ability."

“Tav can finish, he's only a young lad and is still learning the trade. He's got all the attributes that you look for. I think Premier League clubs will look for the English type of player that you can rely on and I think he fits that bill.”