Middlesbrough have sacked Chris Wilder just weeks after his attempts to sign Preston striker Emil Riis were rebuffed by North End.

Boro were backed as one of the favourites for promotion this season and backed Wilder with some smart signings

Deals for the likes of Marcus Forss, Matthew Hoppe and Matthew Clarke cost Boro millions whilst loan deals for Ryan Giles, Zack Steffen, Alex Mowatt and Rodrigo Muniz were impressive.

Results haven’t followed that trend though and Boro have won just two of 11 Championship games this season.


Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Coventry City has proven to be the end for Wilder, with the former Sheffield United boss sacked this morning.

Despite landing Forss, Hoppe and Muniz, Wilder was adamant that he needed one more striker.

The striker Wilder wanted was Preston star Riis, with Danish reports claiming a club – thought to be Middlesbrough – had failed with a £7.5million bid for Riis.

Craig Hemmings has since confirmed that a bid was rejected for a key player, again thought to be Riis.

Boro gave up all hope of signing Riis before the summer deadline as Wilder missed out on that fourth striker he so desperately wanted.

Preston North End v Birmingham City - Sky Bet Championship
Photo by Dave Howarth – CameraSport via Getty Images

It’s funny how quickly things can change in football; just over a month ago a move to Middlesbrough to play under Wilder may have appealed to Riis but here we are with Wilder now quickly out of a job.

Would his fortunes have been any different with Riis on board? It feels unlikely but Wilder may point to that failed pursuit as part of his downfall.

We would imagine that Boro’s interest in Riis will probably disappear alongside Wilder, especially amid disappointing form this season.

Boro must now search for a new boss with Rob Edwards – recently sacked by Watford – and Bournemouth caretaker manager Gary O’Neil in the mix according to The Telegraph’s John Percy.

Preston face Boro at Deepdale at the end of this month and will be going up against whoever Boro’s new boss is, with Riis likely to be in the side against his former suitors.

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