As reported by Gazette Live, Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis has suggested that the mass departures on deadline day, and more specifically the departures Cyrus Christie and Martin Braithwaite, were due to them being desperate for a move away from the club.
Both Christie and Braithwaite were once considered to be first-team regulars for the promotion-chasing side, however, over time it appears as if they both grew tired of playing for the North East club.
Christie was much more favoured by former boss Garry Monk than Pulis, meanwhile, the once-promising Braithwaite has found himself back on a plane to France after a six-month spell that was less than inspiring at Riverside.
According to the report, Pulis did not directly name neither player, although he did claim that he feels players should only be at the club if they truly want to be there. He appeared to be flabbergasted by individuals who could not wait to move elsewhere, which makes sense given that Boro are still well within the hunt for a place in the play-offs.
Ashley Fletcher and Adlene Guedioura were two other members of the squad who left the club on deadline day, although fans had already begun to prepare themselves for that.
Following on from these moves it seems as if the confidence in gaining promotion from Boro fans has dwindled, with a poll on Gazette Live’s website suggesting that 72% of supporters are now less confident about reaching the Premier League than they were at the start of January.
That may come as a surprise given that Middlesbrough are just three points off Fulham in sixth, although they have won just two of their last five league games which includes a loss to the aforementioned Cottagers on January 13.
Pulis will attempt to steer the ship back on course, starting with a difficult trip to Carrow Road this weekend to face Norwich City.