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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Dec 15, 2006

England coach Round released by Boro

Part-time England coach Steve Round has left his job at Middlesbrough.

The 36-year-old parted company with the Teessiders by mutual consent last night as new manager Gareth Southgate attempts to turn around a difficult season.

Round, who has been combining his club duties with a role in Steve McClaren's international set-up, had three-and-a-half years left on his contract.

The former Derby player, whose career was cut short by injury, arrived at the Riverside Stadium in 2001 after McClaren had succeeded Bryan Robson at the helm.

He was elevated to the role of attacking coach and later assistant manager during the Yorkshireman's five-year reign, which brought Carling Cup glory and a UEFA Cup final appearance.

Round, who unlike Southgate has the UEFA Pro-licence, was retained along with the bulk of McClaren's staff when he departed for Soho Square at the end of last season, although he returned to the ranks of the coaches when Malcom Crosby was appointed number two.

However, it has proved a tough few months on Teesside, and Boro head for Fulham on Monday night having taken only six of the last 24 Premiership points on offer.

A crowd of just 23,638 watched last Saturday's 1-1 draw with Wigan, the lowest for a league game at the Riverside.

Colin Cooper will stand alongside Southgate in the Middlesbrough dug-out following Round's departure.

Southgate has confirmed Cooper's promotion within the club's coaching hierarchy, and insisted there is unlikely to be further appointments made for the foreseeable future.

The pair, who both retired after glittering careers in the summer, linked up many times in the Boro backline over the past five seasons.

Explaining the motives behind the decision, Southgate said: 'I've been here six months, I've had an opportunity to assess lots of things and I feel there's a need for change.

'I felt I needed a bit of a change on the coaching side of things. I think it's important everybody is pulling in the same direction.

'Steve and I had a chat about it and I felt the time was right for some changes to be made.

'I think it's important to make my mark on things and to operate in the way that I want. It's important that things work in the way that I want them to work.

'It's vital that everybody at the club moves in the same direction. I'm very grateful for Steve's contribution over the last six months and wish him every success for the future.

'He was very relaxed about the situation, he's got a lot of things going on, especially with England, and he's been here over five years, which is a long time.

'As time goes on there will be changes on the playing side of things as well,'' added Southgate, who's admitted he'll listen to offers for out-of-favour imports Gaizka Mendieta and Massimo Maccarone in January.

While Cooper's influence increases, Malcolm Crosby will retain his assistant-manager role while Steve Harrison will continue to coach the first-team and Paul Barron will look after the keepers.

Southgate was quick to highlight Cooper's qualities, insisting there'll be no further disruptions at the Riverside.

He said: 'I don't think I will be bringing in anybody else from outside. I will be involving Colin with the first team coaching set-up over the coming week and beyond.

'He's somebody I think a tremendous amount of and it's important I have somebody alongside me I'm comfortable with.

'I'm proud to be the manager of Middlesbrough and I know Colin is proud to have been a player and now a coach at the club. He has an affinity for the area.

'He's a very solid guy and somebody I look forward to having alongside me in the dressing room and dug-out.'

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