Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka has vowed to do things his own way after being criticised for not playing with two strikers in Tuesday's defeat to Blackburn.
Boro, who can still go top of the Championship by winning their game in hand, would have been four points clear had they won at Ewood Park and again at home to Wolves on Friday night.
But Karanka is refusing to budge on his preference of playing with a lone frontman and cited one struggling Premier League boss as an example of why.
“If one day I am successful, if one day I am sacked it’s because I do things my way,” the Basque said, as quoted by Gazzette Live.
“So I am going to do [select] my shape and I am going to pick my players and I am going to be successful or be a failure with my methods, with my decisions.
“For that reason I am never going to change because the chairman or the crowd [ask me to].
“I don’t want to say anything against the crowd but, maybe I’m wrong, but the most successful manager here was.... Steve McClaren? And did he play 4-4-2? No.”
McClaren won the League Cup with Boro in 2004 and led them to the UEFA Cup final in 2006, as well as their best ever Premier League finish the previous year (seventh).
The former England manager is currently struggling up the road at Newcastle, however, with the Daily Mail reporting on Thursday that his players expect him to be sacked if they lose at home to Bournemouth on Saturday.
The Magpies have won only two of their last 12 matches and are currently second from bottom, though only goal difference keeps them in the bottom three.