BORO chairman Steve Gibson says lessons learned when missing on out promotion last season helped the club get it right this time round.

Speaking at the Premier League Coaches Conference held this year at Rockliffe, Mr Gibson said: "You have to be tenacious in football and keep on going. There were a lot of different reasons we lost in the final last season. I think Norwich were by far the better team and we were quite young. 

"I remember 10 minutes before kick-off when they were playing the national anthems. The Norwich lads were looking down at the ground and our players were looking and waving to their families and I remember thinking that's not right.

"It took us 15 minutes to get into the game, by then we were two down. We have a close group and an unbelievable set of players and great characters and we talked.

"We felt the squad was too young. So we brought in Stewart Downing and David Nugent, and they provided leadership in the dressing room. Big, strong, characters and players. Cristhian Stuani came across from Uruguay and we felt we would be a lot more competitive."

So it proved, but not without last day drama at the Riverside. For the chairman though, it goes back further than that.

"I was quite relieved when I saw there was only eight minutes of added on time, I thought it might be 10 or 11. I didn't realise it would be quite as long an eight minutes, though! But when you watch the game back we weren't under that much pressure in that time.

"There had been a lot of pressure over the last two months. We had got ourselves into a great position and faltered a little.

"Everyone knows that we had a bit of a blip within the camp, but that acted as a galvanising thing and solved a lot of minor problems. There were no major problems. We were able to face up to it and get rid of them. It's how you handle those blips."

When asked what was done to rectify the situation, Mr Gibson replied simply: "Talked.

"We talked to the players, we talked to the coaching staff and the manager and actually there was no real difference, everyone wanted the same thing. There were maybe different views on how we would achieve that, but we talked it through."

The result was Boro went ten games unbeaten and achieved their aim on the final day.

"We built a squad we thought would be really competitive and we got through by two goals. If we hadn't won 3-0 down at Brighton we wouldn't be sitting in the position we are now.

"You assess your competition and we felt there would be five or six teams who would be strong. We knew Derby would be strong, Sean Dyche always has a strong side, Hull would be strong and maybe Brighton were a surprise.

"This is a tough league to get out of. I hope I don't regret saying this but I think it's tougher to get out of this league than it is staying in the Premier League. You need to win something like 27 games to get out of the Championship and 10 to stay in the Premier League."