Ex-Middlesbrough striker speaks out on former manager who ‘ruined’ the team spirit
In an exclusive interview with Football League World, former Middlesbrough striker Leroy Lita spoke out about his time at the club and his relationship with boss Gordon Strachan.
Lita currently plies his trade for non-league side Nuneaton Borough but has previously had spells at the likes of Bristol City, Reading, Charlton Athletic, Swansea City and Barnsley to name a few.
But during the interview the 36-year-old opened up about his time at North-East side Middlesbrough.
He signed for the club on a permanent deal from Reading back in 2009 and spent two years at the club. He made 82 appearances in all competitions for Boro, scoring 20 goals and registering 12 assists during that time.
At the time he joined, Middlesbrough were flying high in the league but said goodbye to now-England boss Gareth Southgate, in turn opting for the experience of former Southampton and Celtic manager Gordon Strachan.
“Before he came, we were all surprised at the sacking of Southgate because we were fourth in the league, a point off the top,” said Lita.
“It felt like the Reading changing room I’d been in, we were all good, young lads, and good players with some experience in there as well.
“But they sacked the manager for whatever reason. Gordon came in and he did his own thing.”
But Lita didn’t necessarily have good words to say about Strachan, claiming he ‘ruined’ the spirit of the team.
“The way he treated some players was unnecessary, he just ruined the whole team spirit that we had and it didn’t work out.”
Middlesbrough spent quite a bit of money that following summer under Strachan, bringing in a Scottish contingent of Kris Boyd, Andrew Halliday, Stephen McManus and Kevin Thomson, who joined Nicky Bailey and Tarmo Kink as new signings that transfer window.
As Lita stated ‘it didn’t work out’. Strachan departed the club in October 2010 having joined just under a year earlier, he was replaced by Tony Mowbray a week later and the rest is history.