Former Torquay United manager Neil Warnock admits that he has come out of ‘retirement’ to take on the job of trying to keep Middlesbrough in the Championship.

Warnock, 71, who pulled off one of the Gulls’ ‘Great Escapes’ from Football League relegation in 1993, has won a record eight promotions in his managerial career, but he now has eight games to save three-from-bottom Boro from the drop.

“I had more or less retired in my own mind,” said Warnock, who lists Plymouth Argyle as one of the clubs he has taken up, “but I thought ‘What an opportunity’.”

Warnock, who succeeds Jonathan Woodgate at the Riverside Stadium, said that he has turned several other offers since leaving Cardiff City last year, and added that his regard for Middlesbrough’s long-serving owner Steve Gibson was a major reason for going to Teeside.

“I have always got on really well and liked him - he’s one of the best owners,” he said.

“Big clubs have gone down before, so it’s a precarious position, but I am really pleased with how the first (training) session has gone, and we have eight big games ahead of us.”

Boro travel to fellow strugglers Stoke City on Saturday.